UPDATE: 1/29/12 9:29 PM
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - West Virginia just ended its candidate
filing period, but the results of more than 50 legislative races are already largely decided.
A lack of opposing candidates means that 12 of the 17 state
Senate seats up in 2012 will remain with the party that now holds
them. Only half the Senate is on the ballot this year. The Democrats appear guaranteed to hold a majority of at least 23 of 34 seats.
This year's election also features all 100 House of Delegates seats. The majority Democrats are assured 23 of those seats, and the Republicans 16.
But first come the May 8 party primaries. The Legislature recently redrew the House into 67 districts. For Republicans, only nine of those districts will host contested primaries. Democrats will have just 21.
Dozens of candidates filed in person today at the State Capitol, but as long as the filing is postmarked by midnight tonight, it will be accepted.
You can see who has filed by logging on to the Secretary of State's website at wvsos.com.
Secretary of State Natalie Tennant says every candidate who comes in to file is excited and hopeful, and that it takes a lot of courage to put your name on a ballot.
You can also log on to the Secretary of State's website to watch a live video feed to see who is filing.
During the filing period, more than one thousand people logged on to watch the feed.
"Well you always have that rush the very first day and then you get one or two a day here and there," says Wood County Clerk Jamie Six. "We've had various magistrates come in and it seems like various offices have different interests. But right now things are going pretty smoothly,"
Filings postmarked by today will still be accepted.