Kanawha County Republican Charlotte Lane hopes her experience as a former state legislator and International Trade Commission member will help her emerge from a crowded field of candidates seeking to represent West Virginia's 2nd Congressional District.
Lane, a 66-year-old St. Marys native, is one of six Republicans who have indicated their intent to run for the House seat that will be up for grabs due with Republican Rep. Shelley Moore Capito's 2014 U.S. Senate bid.
"Washington has a lot of problems, and I have a history of being a pragmatic conservative," Lane said during a visit to Wheeling this week for a fundraising event.
Other GOP members who have announced their candidacy include former state Sen. Steve Harrison, former Delegate Larry Faircloth of Martinsburg, Robert Lawrence Fluharty of Charles Town, Alex Mooney, a former GOP chairman who recently moved from Maryland to West Virginia and Jim Moss of Hurricane.
Three Democrats also have announced plans to run for the seat: former state Democratic Party Chairman Nick Casey, Delegate Meshea Poore of Kanawha County and Steven Gower of Weston.
With Capito running for the Senate and Rep. Nick Rahall, D-W.Va., expected to face a strong challenge from Delegate Evan Jenkins, R-Cabell, Lane believes 2014 provides an opportunity for Republicans to control four of the Mountain State's five seats in Congress.
"We can have a strong, unified presence in Washington, standing up for West Virginia," she said.
Lane said her priorities if elected to Congress will include working to rein in public spending, fighting U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regulations that are threatening West Virginia's coal industry and replacing the Affordable Care Act with an alternative that would focus on access to employer-based health care and reducing medical costs.
"Right now, Obamacare is crushing small businesses in this state. ... That's not right, " she said.
She said government needs to focus on keeping America safe, ensuring, "that the most vulnerable people in our society are taken care of," improving infrastructure and giving America's returning veterans the help and encouragement they need.