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Republican Army Vet Announces Run For Mercer County House Seat

Courtesy Doug Smith

A southern district that includes a controversial House delegate will have another GOP candidate in next year’s primary election. The 27th House District currently includes Del. Eric Porterfield, who made anti-gay comments during the 2019 legislative session.

Retired Army veteran Doug Smith is running for the House of Delegates 27th District. Republican Delegate Josh Higginbotham, of Putnam County, sent a news release to West Virginia Public Broadcasting regarding Smith's campaign.

Smith’s website states he is pro-life and pro-Second Amendment.  

Republicans hold all three seats in the 27th House District. Education Chairman Joe Ellington, Judiciary Chairman John Shott and Porterfield are the incumbents.

Porterfield sparked controversy earlier this year when he likened LGBTQ rights groups to the Klu Klux Klan. Democrat Tina Russell filed pre-candidacy paperwork shortly after Porterfield made his comments. 

According to the Secretary of State’s website, Republican and former Del. Marty Gearheart has also filed to run for a 27th House District seat in 2020.

A native of Washington, West Virginia, Dave Mistich joined West Virginia Public Broadcasting in October of 2012, as the Charleston Reporter. After bouncing around a variety of newsroom roles at WVPB, he now focuses on state-level politics and government, as well as breaking news. Dave plays on the world's best-worst softball team, Chico's Bail Bonds. He can be reached via email at dmistich@wvpublic.org and you can follow him on Twitter @davemistich.

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