WEST VIRGINIA - Two local residents were among those elected last month to join the West Virginia delegation at the 2012 Republican National Convention, set for Aug. 27-30 in Tampa, Fla.
Wheeling Mayor Andy McKenzie and Brian Long of Glen Dale - a former chairman of the Marshall County Republican Party - were among 19 delegates selected statewide in the May 8 election as "at large" delegates to the national convention.
In total, West Virginia will have 31 delegates at the convention, according to Chad Holland, executive director of the West Virginia Republican Party.
"It should be an excellent time," he noted. "The delegates should should enjoy their time and enjoy the importance of nominating Mitt Romney to defeat Barack Obama. Unlike the Democrats, we won't have Republicans doing all they can to avoid saying who they support for president."
Holland made reference to last week's decision by U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin and U.S. Rep. Nick Rahall, both D-W.Va., as well as Democratic Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin not to attend the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., in September.
On the Republican side, sitting members of Congress are not considered "super delegates" who get automatic spots in their state's delegation, Holland continued. But he said he does expect U.S. Reps. Shelley Moore Capito and David B. McKinley to attend the convention.
McKinley "doesn't know at this point" whether he will be present, said Jim Forbes, spokesman for McKinley. Capito spokeswoman Jamie Corley said Capito does plan to attend the convention.
Five of the 19 "at large" delegates elected on May 8 come from Kanawha County, and three from Monongalia County.
Gubernatorial candidate Bill Maloney of Monongalia County was the top vote-getter in the race, followed by former Secretary of State Betty Ireland of Kanawha County and state Sen. Donna Boley of Pleasants County.
Others selected, in the order of their finish, include Bob Ashley of Roane County, Michael D. Greer of Harrison County, Rachel Amrine of Marion County, Rick Barnett of Kanawha County, Daniel C. Amrine of Marion County, Mark W. Browning of Kanawha County, Bonnie Hersman of Lewis County, Jerry May of Berkeley County, McKenzie of Ohio County, Bill Phillips of Randolph County, Todd Gunter of Kanawha County, Tom O'Neill of Upshur County, Long of Marshall County, Cindy Frich of of Monongalia County, James C. Kline III of Kanawha County and Kris Warner of Monongalia County.
Another nine delegates - three from each of West Virginia's three congressional districts - also were elected on May 8. Elected in the 1st District were Delegate Tom Azinger of Wood County, Robert "Bob" Harman of Mineral County and Frank Deem of Wood County.
Selected in the 2nd District were Charlotte Lane of Kanawha County, state Sen. Mike Hall of Putnam County and Chris Dodrill of Kanawha County.
In the 3rd District, winners were Rick Snuffer of Raleigh County, Marty Gearhart of Mercer County and recently selected state GOP chairman Conrad G. Lucas II of Cabell County.
As chairman, Lucas already is guaranteed a delegate spot, and the party's bylaws allowed him to select an alternate from the 3rd District for the delegation, according to Holland.
Lucas chose the man who finished fourth in the 3rd District race, David Richard Tyson of Cabell County.
Also having guaranteed spots in the delegation are state GOP committeewoman Donna Gosney of Boone County and committeeman Jim Reed of Kanawha County.