Expect another showdown on legislation to make pseudoephedrine prescription-only in hopes of cracking down on the state's meth lab epidemic.
The whole issue puts Big Pharma in the untenable position of appearing to put profits ahead of public safety and welfare, somehow reminiscent of the cigarette industry in the 1960s and '70s.
Another quirk of the calendar will create a comparatively short 13-day window for candidates to officially file for 2014 elections.
By law, the filing period opens on the second Monday in January, and closes on the last Saturday of the month, which means it can open as early as Jan. 8 or as late as Jan. 14. This year, the second Monday is on Jan. 13, creating the short time frame.
Secretary of State Natalie Tennant says that, historically, a majority of candidates file for office on the first or second day of the filing period.
You have to go back to 1992 to find any real last-night intrigue on candidate filings.
That was the year that then-Attorney General Mario Palumbo waited until after 9 p.m. to make a surprise announcement that he was running for governor, prompting a scramble with Darrell McGraw, Charleston lawyer Ed ReBrook, and then-Sen. Bill Wooton, D-Raleigh, filing in the suddenly open Democratic primary -- with Wooton (who subsequently withdrew his candidacy) arriving at the Secretary of State's offices less than 20 minutes before the midnight deadline.
Other than that, the most excitement on filing deadline day may have been in 2008, when Anne Barth resigned as an aide to Sen. Robert C. Byrd, D-W.Va., and filed that Saturday evening to run against Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., after the presumptive Democratic candidate, Sen. John Unger, D-Berkeley, backed out at the 11th hour.
What will be interesting to watch this filing period is how many pre-candidates -- at least 10 alone for the 2nd Congressional District seat Capito is vacating to run for Senate -- will have second thoughts when it comes time to actually put pen to paper, both to officially file as candidates, and to write checks for the filing fees.
Reach Phil Kabler at ph...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1220.