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A West Virginia legislator may challenge Rep. Nick J. Rahall II (D-W.V.) in a primary next spring in the southern 3rd district.

State Rep. Ralph Rodighiero last Friday filed as a “pre-candidate” with the state board of elections, a preliminary step that could pave the way for him to formally challenge Rahall in May.

Rodighiero, who doesn’t yet have paperwork on file with the Federal Election Commission, told the Associated Press that coal industry figures encouraged him to seek the seat. He said he would formally file for the race during the official candidate filing period in January if he’s raised at least $400,000 — a tall order.

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