Randy Yohe Published

High Profile Leadership Appointment Changes State Senate Primary Race 

A blue and red sign for early voting posted in front of polling station.
West Virginia's 13th Senate District primary ballot will include the name of a candidate who has suspended his campaign.
Kamil Krzaczynski/Getty Images

When Mon Health Vice President Jonathan Board was named executive director of the West Virginia First Foundation Board, he suspended his campaign for state Senate. The Foundation was established to distribute millions of dollars in opioid litigation money. 

Board was the only Republican on the 13th District primary ballot, covering Monongalia and Marion counties. Del. Joey Garcia is the only Democrat running for the same seat. Current 13th District Sen. Mike Caputo, a Democrat, is retiring from office. 

Mike Queen, communications director for the Secretary of State, said due to the late date of the campaign suspension, Board’s name will stay on the primary ballot. Queen said Board will formally withdraw after the primary vote is certified.  

State GOP Chairman Matt Herriage said a specific local committee will then help determine a Republican general election candidate.

“We congratulate Mr. Board on the new position and look forward to supporting a new Republican candidate in November,” Herriage said.

Garcia said he has the utmost respect for long time friend Jonathan Board. He said his campaign is not about the opponent, but his own efforts. 

“The race, to me, isn’t about somebody else,” Garcia said. “It’s about connecting with people in Mon [Monongalia] and Marion county, listening to the needs that they have, getting to know them and building trust with them.” 

Queen said Board’s campaign suspension breaks new ground. The only others he remembers in this situation either died or were indicted.