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Less than a year after he went unchallenged in his bid for a 14th term, Rep. Alan Mollohan (D) — who has been the subject of a federal investigation into his finances over the past several years — is drawing a slew of GOP challengers this cycle.

Earlier this year, Republicans Randy Scott Smith, Cindy Hall and Daniel Swisher filed pre-candidacy papers with the secretary of State’s office. Hall, a real estate broker, and Smith, an executive for a coal-mining contracting company, have both gone on to set up campaign Web sites. Now Swisher seems to be moving closer to officially getting into the race.

“I am looking toward a campaign for Congress and will be making a final decision in the next few weeks,— Swisher, an executive with the Connecticut-based Hartford Financial Services who grew up in Parkersburg, W.Va., wrote in an e-mail this week.

“I may not be a politician, but I am a businessman and entrepreneur who believes that if I ran and were elected to Congress, I could help create good jobs that would move West Virginia forward and make it a place where our children could one day thrive,— he added. “That’s why I am strongly considering coming home to the place I was born and raised to run for Congress. West Virginia’s 1st District hasn’t had real representation in a long time, and I intend to change that should I run.—

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