Campaign 2011: Kessler Shakes Up Governor's Race, Wins Straw Poll

HNN Staff

If fans of Acting Governor Earl Ray Tomblin are feeling a bit of deja vu today regarding Acting Senate President Jeff Kessler, who could blame them?  First Kessler won his fight last year to become Acting Senate President over Tomblin's objections. 

Now, Kessler has bested Tomblin--and other Democratic gubernatorial candidates--in a recent straw poll in Jefferson County.  Kessler won 46% of the vote, which was a larger number than Jefferson County Democratic Chair Reva Mickey expected any one candidate to receive.

More than 200 people attended the event at the Charles Town Racetrack, sponsored by the Jefferson County Democratic Executive Committee. Kessler was one of the sponsors of the event, paying $500 for a table that seated 8. He received nearly half of the 200 votes. Earl Ray Tomblin and Arne Moltis were absent from the event. Tomblin received 1% of the vote, only barely nudging out political unknown Arne Moltis at less than 1%.

While this was the first straw poll the Jefferson County Democratic Executive Committee had ever conducted, Jefferson County has grown as a must-visit county for politicians in both parties.  Jefferson County's growth has exploded in the past decade and is seen as an increasingly important county for future elections.

Kessler, an Ohio County Democrat and trial lawyer, was pleased with his showing in the straw poll.  “I do feel a kinship with the residents of Jefferson County, because I too come from a panhandle,” said Kessler.

For more on the Kessler campaign, go to:


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