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West Virginia: Can the GOP Finally Make Mollohan Sweat?

State Sen. Clark Barnes (R) told state news outlets over the weekend that he will challenge 14-term Rep. Alan Mollohan (D) in 2010.

Barnes, who is in his second term in the state Senate, called for a return to “traditionalism— in statements he made to the Wheeling News-Register.

“I feel traditionalism incorporates fiscal responsibility and the understanding we shouldn’t spend more money than we have. When it comes to government making the decision to use our children’s and grandchildren’s money now, they do not have the right.—

Four other Republicans have filed pre-candidacy papers with the secretary of state’s office to challenge Mollohan next year.

Despite the fact that Mollohan has been the subject of a federal investigation into his finances over the past several years, no Republican challenged him in 2008.

The 1st district has sent Democrats to Congress for the past 40 years, but Republicans have fared better in the district when it comes to presidential elections. George W. Bush won the district in 2000 and 2004, and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) beat President Barack Obama by 15 points last year.

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