Natalie Tennant

Party: Democrat
State: West Virginia
What you need to know: Natalie Tennant is a strong candidate with a proven record of leadership as West Virginia's Secretary of State.

Democrat - Open Seat
Endorsed for U.S. Senate by Council for a Livable World Candidate Fund

“Getting Secretary of State Natalie Tennant to run for the Senate was quite a catch.”

West Virginia Democrats recruited an extraordinarily capable candidate when Secretary of State Natalie Tennant (D) declared for the seat to be vacated by Senator Jay Rockefeller (D).

Tennant's likely opponent is Rep. Shelley Moore Capito (R), a conservative Republican who has toed the party line on everything from privatizing Social Security to extending the Bush tax cuts to shuttering the government earlier this year.

On the other hand, Tennant brings to the contest a proven history of independent and pro-growth leadership, a track record of successful campaigns and a deep familiarity with and commitment to the issues that matter in West Virginia and nationally.

Tennant will emphasize her fiscally conservative record as Secretary of State of returning money to the taxpayers, eliminating red tape, and maximizing efficiency for West Virginia businesses. Moreover, she is an experienced candidate, having run successfully for Secretary of State twice, in 2008 and 2012, races in which she garnered 62% and 65% of the vote, respectively.

The Rothenberg Political Report said that “getting Secretary of State Natalie Tennant to run for the Senate was quite a catch.”

Tennant grew up on a farm in West Virginia’s Marion County. She studied broadcasting at West Virginia University, and became the first woman to serve as the WVU Mountaineer, a high honor at the college. Prior to entering politics, she was a news anchor in Virginia and later started a media production company with her husband, Erik Wells.

On national security issues, Tennant is a supporter of further nuclear reductions negotiations with Russia, the ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, and the Kissinger-Schulz-Nunn-Perry vision of moving responsibly toward a world without nuclear weapons. She also believes that there is room for substantial reductions to the U.S. nuclear weapons budget, in order to free up funding for higher priority defense programs. Finally, Tennant advocates the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan by the end of 2013, with few or no troops remaining after that date, as well as the repeal of the September 14, 2001 Authorization of the Use of Military Force.

On the other hand, Shelley Moore Capito scored a dismal 8% in the 2011-2012 PeacePAC voting record. She voted against the PeacePAC positions on Afghanistan withdrawal, cutting military spending, cutting missile defense funding and limiting further nuclear weapons reductions and non-proliferation funding in Russia. She has also voted 42 times to defund health care reform, and also led the recent government shutdown.

At the statewide office level, West Virginia still has a Democratic tilt. Democrats hold the positions of Governor, both U.S. Senators, all statewide positions but one and one of three House seats. In the state legislature, Democrats currently hold a 24-10 seat advantage in the Senate and 54-46 in the House of Delegates. Registration in the state is 2 – 1 Democratic over Republican.

The August 2013 West Virginia Poll, a non-partisan public poll conducted for the Charleston Daily Mail, shows the race to be very tight, with Capito ahead of Tennant by only 45%-40%, and 15% undecided. Both the Cook and Rothenberg Political Reports rate this race as competitive, in the “Lean Republican” category.

This is a very winnable race. Natalie Tennant is an excellent candidate in a state that still elects Democrats for statewide positions running against a Washington veteran.

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Natalie Tennant for Senate
Council for a Livable World
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