CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Kanawha County Republican Delegate Suzette Raines will not mount a run for Congress.The freshman lawmaker announced Tuesday morning she is not seeking the GOP nomination for the 2nd congressional district seat."I am extremely humbled by the overwhelming support from leaders and citizens across the state, Raines said in the news release."I have weighed this decision very carefully and, while I understand the necessity for strong representation in D.C., my place is at home continuing to represent WV's 35th House District and caring for my mother as she battles a serious illness."Raines, 29, said earlier in the month she could be interested in vying to replace outgoing U.S. Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va.Capito announced in late 2012 she is running for the U.S. Senate.Earlier in the year Raines announced she would run for the state senate seat currently held by Sen. Brooks McCabe, D-Kanawha. McCabe is retiring. Kanawha County Democrat Delegate Doug Skaff has also announced his intention to seek the senate seat.
In her announcement Tuesday, Raines made no mention of how the decision affects a possible state senate run."I look forward to continuing my term in the House of Delegates and serving the people of Kanawha County," she said.Despite Raines' decision, Republicans still have plenty of options to choose from in the primary.Locally, former Kanawha County delegate and presidential appointee Charlotte Lane, Ron Walters Jr. -- son of current Kanawha County Republican Delegate Ron Walters -- and Jim Moss are running for the seat.There are three potential candidates from the Eastern Panhandle as well: former Maryland lawmaker Alex Mooney, former West Virginia lawmaker Larry Faircloth and Kenneth Reed, who owns pharmacies in the area.Two Democrats from Kanawha County have drawn most of the attention in the race so far: former state party chairman Nick Casey and Kanawha County Delegate Meshea Poore.It's currently the pre-candidacy stage of the campaign, where candidates can start to raise money and see if a run is manageable. Candidates officially file for office in 2014. Contact writer Dave Boucher at 304-348-4843 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him at www.twitter.com/Dave_Boucher1.