2018 Election

Mitch Carmichael
Will Price / West Virginia Legislative Photography

As the 2018 midterm election approaches, some West Virginia Senate Republican leaders are making use of a large and influential worldwide public relations firm to aid in messaging about this year’s teacher strike and the economy. The politicians making use of the public relations services, which an independent expenditure political action committee is paying for, are not on this year’s ballot.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, the infectious liver disease hepatitis A has hit Appalachia hard during the past several months. Kara Lofton looks into what is causing the outbreak and how public officials are working to slow the spread.

Also on today's show, when it comes to making voting more secure, cybersecurity experts say the U.S. should move away from electronic voting machines and back towards paper ballots. West Virginia is heading the other direction.

President Donald Trump during a Charleston rally.
Kara Lofton / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

President Donald Trump is holding a campaign rally in West Virginia on Saturday, Sept. 29, 2018.
The president will rally for a slate of Republican candidates in Wheeling, including the GOP Senate nominee  Patrick Morrisey.

In a sign that America's two centuries-old democracy is under strain, nearly 2 in 5 American voters do not believe elections are fair, according to a new NPR/Marist poll. Nearly half of respondents lack faith that votes will be counted accurately in the upcoming midterm elections.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

President Donald Trump's campaign has announced support for Republican Carol Miller in West Virginia's 3rd Congressional District race.

The Trump Campaign said in a statement this week that Miller is "pro-coal, pro-Second Amendment, and pro-Trump" and encouraged people to vote for her.

Former coal executive Don Blankenship waits outside the West Virginia Capitol on Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2018, after the Capitol was evacuated due to a fire alarm in Charleston, W.Va. The alarm interrupted Blankenship's hearing in the state Supreme Court.
John Raby / Associated Press

The state Supreme Court on Wednesday denied a last-minute bid by former coal CEO Don Blankenship to get his name on the ballot in November’s U.S. Senate race in West Virginia.

The court upheld a decision by the secretary of state denying Blankenship’s application for a third-party candidacy.

Fact-Checking Donald Trump’s Rally in Charleston, W.Va.

Aug 21, 2018
President Donald Trump at his Charleston, W.Va., campaign rally on Aug. 21, 2018.
Kara Lofton / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Just hours after courtroom setbacks for two once-close allies, Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump held a rally in Charleston, W.Va., a state he won by 42 points in the 2016 election.

Trump’s remarks, lasting about an hour and 15 minutes, did not directly address Manafort, who was found guilty by a federal jury in Virginia, and Cohen, who pled guilty to charges in a New York courtroom.

Instead, his speech covered a range of topics he frequently brings up, including his administration’s economic accomplishments, immigration and the military.

President Donald Trump greets the crowd during a rally Aug. 21, 2018, in Charleston, W.Va.
Kara Lofton / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

President Donald Trump confronted one of the most perilous moments of his presidency Tuesday after two onetime members of his inner circle simultaneously were labeled “guilty” of criminal charges. Although Trump largely ignored the jarring back-to-back blows at a campaign rally in West Virginia, questions mounted about his possible legal exposure and political future.

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MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

When Congress approved giving $380 million to states to bolster the security of their elections, state officials were caught off guard but extremely grateful. Elections are notoriously underfunded and haven't seen a windfall like this from the federal government in more than a decade.

But getting that money out to all the states, and then into the hands of localities that run the elections, with enough time to have a meaningful effect on the 2018 midterm elections is a difficult proposition.

AP Photo

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, the Republican candidate trying to unseat incumbent Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin in November’s election, is bringing Donald Trump Jr. to the state on Tuesday to rally GOP voters.

Numbers-wise, it makes sense for President Trump to send his son as a proxy to a state campaign. West Virginians voted 69 percent for Trump Jr.’s father in 2016, and there is no state where the president enjoys a higher approval rating.

Supporters talk with former Massey CEO and West Virginia Republican Senatorial candidate, Don Blankenship, center, prior to a town hall to kick off his campaign in Logan, W.Va., Thursday, Jan. 18, 2018.
Steve Helber / Associated Press file photo

Despite losing the Republican primary in a distant third-place, convicted ex-coal baron Don Blankenship announced Monday that he will continue his bid for U.S. Senate as a third-party candidate, though it's unclear if the move violates West Virginia's "sore loser" law.

NOTE: This story will updated throughout the day as reports and results on the 2018 Primary Election come in. Results are unofficial until certified by the West Virginia Secretary of State's office. Check back for the latest news. 

View the Primary Election Results

Former Massey CEO and West Virginia Republican Senatorial candidate, Don Blankenship, speaks during a town hall to kick off his campaign in Logan, W.Va., Thursday, Jan. 18, 2018.
Steve Helber / Associated Press

A report says the former coal executive convicted of violating federal mine safety standards has failed to turn in a required financial disclosure for his U.S. Senate race.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, after Russian-backed hackers probed election-related systems in at least 21 states in 2016, election officials, whose focus traditionally on making sure polling places run smoothly and efficiently, now have to focus on protecting their computer systems. Although West Virginia wasn’t targeted in 2016, the secretary of state’s office is teaming up with the National Guard to take precautions. Dave Mistich takes a look at the partnership, which is paving the way for secure elections in the digital age.

Walter Scriptunas II / AP Photo

Editor's Note: This is a developing story. Please be sure to revisit this post for the latest. This post was last updated Wednesday, November 29, 2017 at 7:22 p.m.

 

Former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship is running for U.S. Senate as a Republican. Blankenship served one year in federal prison for conspiring to violate federal mine safety standards in the wake of an explosion that killed 29 miners in April 2010.

Manchin
Alex Brandon / AP Photo

Democratic U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin reports raising about $900,000 in the past three months for his 2018 re-election campaign with about $4.1 million on hand.

Joe Manchin
Susan Walsh / AP Photo

A new poll puts Democratic incumbent Joe Manchin ahead of likely Republican challengers in the 2018 race for U.S. Senate.

The poll, sponsored by West Virginia MetroNews and conducted by Research America, Inc., puts Manchin 10 points ahead of Congressman Evan Jenkins (50 percent to 40 percent) and 14 points ahead of Attorney General Patrick Morrisey (52 percent to 38 percent). Both Jenkins and Morrisey have announced their candidacy for the Republican Primary slated for May 2018.