Special W.Va. gubernatorial election dates set

Acting West Virginia Gov. Earl Tomblin (D) signed legislation Monday setting the dates for a special gubernatorial election. The primary will be May 14; the general election Oct. 4.

The special election comes after then-Gov. Joe Manchin (D) decided to run for the open seat left after the death of Sen. Robert Byrd (D). Manchin won the seat last year. Tomblin, the former state Senate president, was in line to take his place temporarily.

The election is for the last two years of Manchin's term — the state's Supreme Court ordered that the new governor take office by Nov. 15. The next four-year term will also be on the ballot.

So far, four Republicans, a member of the third-party Mountain Party, and three Democrats have filed to run in the special election.

The Democratic candidates are House Speaker Rick Thompson, Secretary of State Natalie Tennant and Tomblin.

On the Republican side, former Secretary of State Betty Ireland, Putnam County Prosecuting Attorney Mark Sorsaia, state Sen. Clark Barnes and West Virginia Delegate Patrick Lane are running.

Jesse Johnson is the Mountain Party candidate.