CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Nick Casey, a Charleston lawyer and former chairman of the West Virginia Democratic Party, officially announced his candidacy for Congress on Monday.
Casey is running for the 2nd Congressional District seat that will be vacated by Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., who is running for the U.S. Senate seat held by Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va.
In January, Rockefeller announced his plans to retire when his term ends in early 2015.
"I am running because I am totally fed up with the gridlock in Washington," Casey said during his announcement in the Governor's Press Conference Room at the state Capitol. "They cannot get along. That hurts us all. I can disagree without being disagreeable."
Casey said he would like to work against the "waste that we see in Washington, wasted wars and other waste. ... We don't need more money. We need to stop wasting and stop fraud."
Maintaining the nation's infrastructure, creating jobs and using clean domestic energy sources will be Casey's priorities.
"We have roads only halfway built throughout our district. Finishing them will open up the middle part of West Virginia. When roads are built, businesses come in and jobs are created."
West Virginia has a wide array of energy sources, including water from the Ohio and Potomac rivers and coal, natural gas and wind turbines.
"We ship oil 6,000 miles to the U.S., when all we have to do is produce and process energy here," Casey said.
A wide variety of political leaders, supporters and relatives attended Casey's announcement ceremony.
They included: Allen Tackett, former adjutant general of the West Virginia National Guard; Kanawha County Sheriff Johnny Rutherford; Kenny Perdue, West Virginia AFL-CIO president; and Carte Goodwin, who served as the temporary replacement in the U.S. Senate for the late Sen. Robert C. Byrd, D-W.Va., between July and November 2010.
Also attending were Charleston Mayor Danny Jones; former Sen. Oshel Craigo, D-Putnam; and Dan Lauffer, chief operating officer of the Thomas Health System at Saint Francis Hospital in Charleston.
Casey served as chairman of Saint Francis Hospital's board of directors for 12 years.