CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Richie Robb, the former longtime mayor of South Charleston who recently switched to the Mountain Party, announced Wednesday that he has decided not to run for U.S. Senate. Robb, a former Republican, switched his voter registration to the Democratic Party in 2005, citing philosophical differences with national Republicans.Recently, he switched to the Mountain Party to make a possible run for the Senate this year. Before the switch, Robb was a member of the West Virginia Democratic Party's Executive Committee."I have decided not to seek that nomination. The realities of electoral politics -- money or the lack thereof -- is especially a problem for a third party candidate."
Robb said he is "not enamored of either candidate," referring to Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va, and John Raese, his Republican opponent who is a Morgantown businessman. In the special election for a Senate seat in 2010, Raese lost to Manchin.Robb said, "Neither candidate has addressed, and I predict will never address, wealth disparity in the United States and West Virginia, and the disappearing middle class."Big money rules politics and will do so in this Senate election."The Mountain Party will hold its nominating convention on Sunday in Sutton. All candidates running for office must file their papers by August 1.