Associated Press Published

W.Va. Sen. Kessler Files Early Paperwork for Governor Bid


State Senate Minority Leader Jeff Kessler has filed pre-candidacy paperwork for an open governor’s race.

The Marshall County Democrat changed the office he’s seeking Thursday in the early paperwork from “undeclared” to “governor.”

In a 2011 special election, Kessler placed fifth in the Democratic primary for governor.

He would be up for re-election in the Senate in 2016, and can’t run for both.

Kessler served as Senate president before Republicans took control of the Legislature this year.

He has criticized policies pushed by the Republican majority.

Democratic U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin is also considering a run at governor, a job he held for two terms.

Several Republicans are considering runs.

Pre-candidacy filing lets someone start raising and spending money for the election.

The Charleston Daily Mail first reported Kessler’s intentions.