6. Arne Moltis. No explanation necessary.
Now for the Republicans...
1. Former Secretary of State <B>Betty Ireland<P>. As the only Republican woman ever elected to statewide office, Ireland is way ahead of the primary opposition in name recognition, and is a fierce campaigner to boot.
Downsides could be less-than-aggressive fundraising to date, and opposition attempts to portray her as being too far to the left to suit GOP voters.
2. Morgantown businessman Bill Maloney. A self-made millionaire with a great back story (helping with the rescue of the trapped Chilean miners last fall), Maloney first looked like the Republican version of Gaston Caperton in 1988.
Oddly, despite being an unknown in state politics, Maloney's done little advertising since an initial blitz of radio spots back in March. (I understand that will change starting today, with a major buy of TV ad time.)
Opponents may try to make hay with the pending relocation of the headquarters of one of the companies he founded, Shaft Drillers International, from Westover to Perry Township, Pa., with the loss of about 100 jobs. Maloney sold his share of the company in 2006.
3. Sen. Clark Barnes, R-Randolph. The campaign will be a good opportunity for Barnes to build a base for future runs for statewide office.
4. Putnam County Prosecuting Attorney Mark Sorsaia. Ditto for Mark, the only person on my floor in Dadisman Hall freshman year to ever amount to anything.
5. Delegate Mitch Carmichael, R-Jackson. Again, ditto for the statewide campaign experience.
6. Larry Faircloth. After that stellar 2004 Republican gubernatorial primary, when the former delegate finished sixth and pulled down only 8 percent of the vote, one wonders if Faircloth's only role is to take votes away from Barnes in the Eastern Panhandle and Potomac Highlands.
7 and 8. Ralph William Clark and Cliff Ellis. Who? And furthermore, why?
Reach Phil Kabler at ph...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1220.