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Manchin and Raese Sail to Victory in West Virginia Primaries

Gov. Joe Manchin (D) and businessman John Raese (R) won their respective primaries in West Virginia and will face off in the race to replace the late Sen. Robert Byrd (D) this fall.

Byrd died about six weeks after West Virginia held its primaries in May, so this election was scheduled to decide who would vie to fill the last two years of his term. In July, Manchin appointed attorney Carte Goodwin (D) to serve until a new Senator is elected.

On the Democratic side, Manchin handily defeated former Rep. Ken Hechler and Sheirl Fletcher, who ran for the Senate as a Republican in 2008. With 27 percent of precincts reporting, Manchin had 74 percent of the vote. He was first elected governor in 2004 with 64 percent of the vote and won re-election in 2008 with 70 percent. Manchin still has high approval ratings and is the favorite to win in November.

On the Republican side, Raese also dispatched his opponents with ease. With 25 percent of precincts reporting, he had 72 percent of the vote. Mac Warner finished with 15 percent, and three more candidates ended the night in single digits. Raese was the Republican nominee for Senate in 2006 against Byrd and in 1984 against Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D). He is president and CEO of Greer Industries, a network of businesses in Morgantown.

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