West Virginians on Nov. 6 will choose between incumbent Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va.; Republican John Raese; and Mountain Party member Bob Henry Baber for U.S. Senate.
- Manchin, 65, is seeking election to his first full six-year term.
He previously served as governor of West Virginia from 2005-10, when he won a special election to fill the seat of the late Sen. Robert Byrd. He also served four years in the state Senate, six years in the House and as Secretary of State.
"We need to get our nation's fiscal house in order," Manchin said. "We need to come together, across party lines, to find ways to balance the budget. It is going to take everyone working together, but I know it can be done.
"We did it in West Virginia when I was governor and we can do it now. All we need to do is put politics aside, come together and put America first. The partisanship in Washington has created a toxic atmosphere, where it is difficult to get much accomplished. But I'm optimistic that it can be done."
West Virginia has been "blessed with common sense," he said. He seeks that same common sense in Washington.
"I have had the opportunity to see my state in so many facets - in both private and public life - and I understand the issues that West Virginians face," he said. "I have never forgotten, nor will I ever forget, where I come from and I'm extremely proud of it.
"I examine every piece of legislation and consider its effect on our state and its people. ... Most of the bills I have introduced are bipartisan in nature because that's the only way we can get anything done. I am willing to work with anyone to do what is best for our state."
- Raese, 62, of Morgantown is president and chief executive officer of Greer Industries.
Raese holds a degree in education from WVU and has served as chairman of the West Virginia Republican Party.
"America has inched steadily toward a tipping point," Raese said. "We are at a time when government intervention and interference has created such a tremendous drag on the economy and our way of life that a reversal is impossible. We have seen an attack on our money, our power, and, worst of all, our freedoms.
"I believe the greatest challenge facing our nation is the rising national debt due to out-of-control spending. In order to curb our spending problem, we must balance the budget and return our monetary system to where it should be. This can be done by lowering taxes and growing the economy. By lowering taxes, it will allow for more jobs to be created and will alleviate the burdens on families and businesses."
And one member of the U.S. Senate can help make life better for all Americans, he said.
"I believe I can make a difference for our state and our country by standing up to make the hard decisions and cast the necessary votes to ensure a better life for my family, for you - and for your family," he said. "I will not pledge an allegiance to Washington, I will only serve the people of West Virginia.
"Because of my experience in the private sector, I understand how to create jobs. ... As your U.S. senator, I will work to reverse the devastating policies the Obama administration has enacted ... especially Obamacare."
- Baber, 61, is a former mayor of Richwood, W.Va. He is presently employed as a major gifts officer at Glenville State College in Glenville, W.Va.
He is director of the West Virginia Veteran's Legacy Project.
He also was the recipient of the 2007 National Wilderness Society Hero Award.