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UPDATE: Gainer Conducting 'Grassroots' Campaign Against McKinley

By: John Fortney, Todd Baucher Email
By: John Fortney, Todd Baucher Email
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UPDATE 10/09/2014 4:25 PM

He's a Parkersburg native and, for 22 years, he's been West Virginia's auditor.

But we haven't heard much from Glen Gainer since last year, when he announced his candidacy for Congress.

Democrat Gainer says he's been conducting a grassroots campaign to unseat first district Republican David McKinley.

In a sit-down interview with us Thursday he said McKinley and the Republican-controlled House haven't been doing their job or been in session long enough to do it.

"At the very least, debate these things, put ideas forward. They talk a lot about health care and putting ideas forward. I'm still waiting to see their first bill on health care reform. I'm still waiting to see their bill on transportation. It's time to start doing our job, and Congress has not been doing theirs," says Gainer.

Gainer says a solution has to be found to fund the nation's transportation system and all Congress has done is extend the current funding bill.

He agrees with President Obama on certain issues, which include some parts of the Affordable Care Act.

But he doesn't believe coal-fired power plants are the main cause of climate change.


UPDATE 11/8/2013 4:35 PM

He's running.

Following 20 years of service in the West Virginia Auditor's Office, Glen Gainer made his Congressional campaign official Friday.

He has local political ties - his father was a former Parkersburg mayor whom he succeeded as state auditor more than 20 years ago.

But is that enough to get Glen Gainer elected to Congress?

Gainer will be running against Republican Congressman David McKinley, who has easily taken Wood County in winning both of his two terms.

He didn't directly mention McKinley in his announcement Thursday night, but he said the recent government shutdown was a factor in his decision

"Shutting the government down a few weeks ago, as a citizen, disgusted me and pushed me over the edge," says Gainer.

"I think it's going to be difficult for any Democrat to unseat Congressman McKinley," says Wood County Republican Chairman Greg Smith. "He's done a really good job of representing the first district and the state."

Smith added he believes Gainer - in his words - drew the short straw in being the Democrats' choice in running for the seat.

Stories came out earlier this year that Gainer was considering a run for Congress.

While West Virginia's other Congressional districts include the state's two largest cities, the first district not only includes Parkersburg and Wood County, but the cities of Wheeling, Fairmont, Morgantown and Clarksburg.
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West Virginia State Auditor Glen Gainer announced his campaign for Congress.

The long time democrat served the state for 21 years.

Auditor Gainer told WTAP News it's time the bickering stops in Washington, and one of the reasons that caused him to consider a run for Congress was the recent government shutdown.

Elected to his sixth term as Auditor in 2012, Gainer is a Parkersburg native.

If unopposed in the 2013 primary, he would face incumbent republican 1st district Congressman David McKinley.

See John Fortney's interview with Auditor Gainer attached to this story.


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