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Raese files to run for Senate

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- For the second time in less than 18 months, Morgantown businessman John Raese has filed to run for U.S. Senate.

"I call it unfinished business," Raese said shortly after 4:15 p.m., after filing in the secretary of state's office in the Capitol.

Raese opposed now-Sen. Joe Manchin in the 2010 special U.S. Senate election, to fill the vacancy created by the death of longtime Sen. Robert C. Byrd.

Manchin ultimately won that election by a nine-percentage point margin, after polls showed he and Raese running close during much of the fall special election.

During the campaign, Raese contended that Manchin would be a "rubber-stamp" for President Barack Obama's policies, a charge that the Manchin campaign ultimately countered with a controversial political ad showing Manchin shooting Obama's cap-and-trade legislation.

On Thursday, Raese indicated he will use the same campaign strategy in the 2012 race for a full six-year term.

"We have a president that's an absolute disaster, and we have a senator who seems to support that disaster," Raese said. "Last time, I called him a rubber-stamp and he didn't let me down."

Unlike 2010, when Raese filed one day before the filing deadline for the special election, he becomes the first candidate to file for U.S. Senate this election cycle, more than two weeks before the filing deadline.

"It just seemed like a good day," he told reporters. "The weather was clear, the clouds parted and I just came in."

According to the FlightAware online flight tracking service, Raese flew to Charleston from Palm Beach International Airport in his Cessna Citation jet, arriving at Yeager Airport at 3:34 p.m.

Shortly after filing, he departed for Morgantown Municipal Airport.

Raese's ownership of a house in an upscale section of Palm Beach became a campaign issue in 2010 -- particularly since his wife, Liz, is a resident of Florida.

Liz Raese accompanied her husband to the secretary of state's office Thursday.

Manchin's Senate press officials declined comment Thursday.

Reach Phil Kabler at philk@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1220.


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