BREAKING: Republican John Raese will challenge Joe Manchin for U.S. Senate again (video)

By westvirginia on January 12, 2012
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By Steven Allen Adams | West Virginia Watchdog

CHARLESTON — In his fourth bid for U.S. Senate, Republican Businessman John Raese will once again challenge Democratic U.S. Senator Joe Manchin in 2012.

Raese flew into Charleston this afternoon and filed his candidacy papers with the West Virginia Secretary of State‘s office. He was joined by his wife Elizabeth and the chief financial officer for his company, Greer Industries.

Raese ran for U.S. Senate in 1984, losing to Jay Rockefeller. He ran for U.S. Senate again in 2006, losing to Robert C. Byrd. After Byrd died in 2010, Raese ran against Joe Manchin, who was governor at the time. Manchin beat Raese 53 percent to 43 percent.

Raese said he intends to challenge Manchin again on his record as governor and now on his record as a senator. Raese said Manchin isn’t a real conservative and his record bears that out.

“A candidacy, for me, is about education,” Raese said. “We’re going to talk a lot about the issues and what this man has done and what he hasn’t done in Washington. I feel we are a great state, a great country. I’m in business all across the United States. I think we can do better.”

In a recent survey by Public Policy Polling, Joe Manchin had a 61 percent approval rate, with 23 percent disapproving and 15 percent unsure. Nearly 75 percent of those who responded ranged from politically moderate to very conservative. But President Barack Obama is at the top of the ticket this year, where the another poll gave him a 28 percent approval rating.

“We have a President who is an absolute disaster, and a Senator that seems to support that disaster,” Raese said.

State Democrats were dismissive of Raese’s announcement. Larry Puccio, chairman of the state Democratic Party, said voters won’t be fool by Raese or have their votes bought.

“Florida resident John Raese has now made it official – he’s on his fourth attempt to lose a U.S. Senate seat,” Puccio said in a statement. “Just 14 months after West Virginia voters soundly rejected his out-of-touch agenda that would devastate our families, Raese is again going to try to buy our votes, even though he thinks we’re a bunch of hicks.”

Watch John Raese speak to reporters below:

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