West Virginia: Rep. Mollohan Draws Late Primary Foe

Posted February 1, 2010 at 6:01pm

Rep. Alan Mollohan has drawn last-minute opposition in the Democratic primary. He’ll be opposed for renomination by veteran state legislator Mike Oliverio.

Oliverio mailed his candidacy papers to state election officials on Saturday, just ahead of a midnight postmark deadline.

Oliverio was first elected to the state Senate in 1994 and re-elected three times in a Morgantown-area district. He previously served one term in the state House.

Oliverio’s challenge of Mollohan marks only the third time in 14 re-election campaigns that Mollohan has been opposed in the Democratic primary. Mollohan last faced intraparty opposition in 1998, when he took 87 percent of the vote against W.E. Ruehl, a little-known financial adviser. In 1992, Mollohan easily beat Rep. Harley Staggers Jr. in the Democratic primary after redistricting paired the two in the same district.

Six Republicans are challenging Mollohan, including former state Rep. David McKinley and former state Sen. Sarah Minear.