Manchin Senate campaign raking in donations

By Jessica M. Karmasek | Aug 18, 2010


CHARLESTON -- West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin has raised more than a half-million dollars in the race for the late Robert C. Byrd's U.S. Senate seat, according to Federal Election Commission filings.

Meanwhile, Republican candidate John Raese has used his personal wealth for much of his $356,000 campaign fund.

FEC fillings show the energy sector, such as coal operators and electric utilities, have been Manchin's major contributors. He reported raising $343,715 from individuals and another $192,800 from political action committees, or PACs, between July 20 and Aug. 11.

According to the filings, 15 executives of FirstEnergy or their spouses gave more than $51,000 to Manchin. The Ohio-based utility operates coal-fired, nuclear and other power plants, according to The Associated Press.

Manchin received another $38,400 from individuals with Boich Companies, an Ohio coal conglomerate.

The 62-year-old governor also received more than $24,500 from utility American Electric Power's PAC, its executives or their family members.

A number of donations also came from employees of Mylan Laboratories, including its president and Manchin's daughter, Heather Bresch. She donated $4,800 and her husband donated another $4,800. Mylan is based in Morgantown.

Among those individual donors are lawyers from the law firm of Jackson Kelly PLLC, which has offices in Charleston. They gave more than $19,000, as did lawyers from the firm of Lewis Glasser Casey and Rollins, PLLC, which also has offices in the capital city.

Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., and his wife Sharon also gave nearly $10,000 to Manchin's Senate campaign.

The leadership PACs of 10 U.S. Senate Democrats, including Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada, have kicked in $60,000.

Meanwhile, Raese, a Morgantown businessman, has infused his campaign with $320,000 of his own money while individual donors have provided another $35,923, according to the filings.

Manchin is one of three Democrats seeking Byrd's seat, while Raese is among 10 Republicans. The race also features Mountain Party candidate Jesse Johnson.

The candidates don't have much time to raise funds, given the Aug. 28 primaries.

Manchin and Raese were the only candidates with reports posted online. Each is favored to win his respective primary. The general election is Nov. 2.

Manchin's announcement last month that he was running for the longtime senator's seat ended weeks-long speculation on whether the popular governor would give up the remaining 26 months of his second term for a chance to fill Byrd's term.

The Nov. 2 winner will take over for Carte Goodwin, Manchin's former general counsel and temporary appointee to the seat.

Reach Jessica Karmasek by e-mail at

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