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Election 2010: Looking Back

November 10, 2010 - Joselyn King
One year ago today, would you have imagined the political landscape to look as it does now?

At the onset, the 2010 election year actually was thought to be a boring election year. It was to be one where most -- Mollohan, Bowman, Klempa, Hutchins included -- would probably run unopposed. The real action would happen in 2012.

On the Ohio side, we figured U.S. Rep. Zack Space, D-Ohio, might take some lumps for his vote in favor of cap and trade -- but that probably he would be safe. And certainly his colleague in the 6th District, U.S. Rep. Charles Wilson, D-Ohio, wouldn't be in any trouble this year.

Then came the storm.

It started with Republicans smelling Mollohan's blood in the water amid ethics questions and growning anti-incumbent sentiment. But his name would be off November's ballot after a defeat by fellow Democrat Mike Oliverio in the May 11 primary election.

Then Bowman's announced retirement in January opened the door for Klempa to run in his place, for Hutchins not to seek re-election, and for two new delegates to be elected in the 3rd District.

And who would have thought Republican Charles Schlegel would capture more than 40 percent of the vote against Klempa -- despite not really campaigning and acknowledging he himself would vote for Klempa?

But what really made the biggest mark on the landscape was the death of U.S. Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W.Va. Maybe this wasn't surprising, but it wasn't a happening expected within the happenings of the 2010 election year.

Byrd's death forced an added special election, and moved Gov. Joe Manchin out of Charleston to the U.S. Senate. Now it may bring about a change in West Virginia's succession laws, and perhaps another special election for governor.

Who knows what could happen in another year. What about two years?


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