Rep. Nick Rahall, D-W.Va., will soon announce he is running for a 20th term in the House, taking a pass on the race to replace retiring Democratic Sen. Jay Rockefeller, according to a statement obtained by Hotline On Call.
"With U.S. Senator Jay Rockefeller retiring at the end of this term, it is more important than ever that our state have someone in Congress with the proven ability to bring important infrastructure improvements and the accompanying new jobs back home to West Virginia," Rahall says in a fundraising letter that will be released in the coming days. He goes on to highlight his work protecting coal miners as well as seniors and veterans, making the case that with Rockefeller retiring, he can keep up those battles as West Virginia's most senior Democrat in Congress.
Rahall's decision not to run for Rockefeller's seat doesn't come as a major surprise, as he raised just over $142,000 in the first quarter of the year. That was dwarfed by the $915,000 raised by GOP Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, who has declared her candidacy for Rockefeller's seat.
Though Rahall's fundraising was roughly on par with his first quarter totals in 2011, he'll need to pick up the pace if he wants to return to Congress in 2014. Rahall ended March with just $217,000 in the bank — less than half of what he had on hand at this point during his last reelection — and the 2014 race could be expensive.