CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The race for West Virginia's 2nd Congressional District seat keeps getting more crowded by the day.
On Tuesday, Delegate Meshea Poore, D-Kanawha, was the latest to announce a bid for the seat now held by Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va. Poore becomes the ninth candidate -- three Democrats and six Republicans -- running in the 2nd District contest. The primary is scheduled for May 2014.
Capito has held the seat since 2001. Last November, Capito announced plans to run for the U.S. Senate. Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., who first won election in 1984, will retire when his term ends.
Former Gov. Joe Manchin, now a U.S. senator, appointed Poore to the 31st District House of Delegates seat in 2009. Poore, who will give up her House seat to run for Congress, announced her candidacy via Twitter Tuesday.
"I'm ready to work. I'm ready to run. I'm ready to win," Poore said in an interview with the Gazette. "I'm very passionate about the district."
Poore, who was elected to a second term last November, added that she's "worked in the trenches" in the House of Delegates, fighting for jobs, families, children, veterans and "equal rights for all.
"We need new leaders with new energy to shake things up in Washington," she said.
On the Democratic ticket in the 2nd District, Poore will face an uphill battle against former Democratic Party Chairman Nick Casey, who announced his candidacy in late April. The 59-year-old lawyer has never run for political office, but he has strong name recognition and has already raised more than $500,000 in campaign contributions -- $420,000 of which remains unspent, according to his latest campaign finance report.
"I'm very humbled by the broad base of support and the generosity of the supporters," Casey said in an email to the Gazette Tuesday. "It is an open primary so good luck to all."