Mike Woelfel announces candidacy for state Senate
HUNTINGTON — Huntington attorney Mike Woelfel announced his candidacy for the state Senate on Thursday during a brief news conference at the Cabell County Courthouse.
Woelfel, a 60-year-old Democrat, will run for the 5th District seat that is occupied now by Sen. Evan Jenkins, who was elected as a Democrat but earlier this year switched to Republican. Jenkins has announced he is running for Congress in 2014 and cannot run for re-election in the state Senate. The district covers all of Cabell County and the northern portion of Wayne County. It also is represented by Sen. Bob Plymale, D-Wayne.
This is Woelfel’s first attempt at running for public office. He said state government needs more elected officials who seek common ground and are willing to listen to opposing views.
“There’s considerably too much politics and not enough progress, and I think I can do something about it,” he said.
Woelfel is a former Cabell County assistant prosecutor and served as the juvenile court referee for the county from 1980 to 2010. He has a bachelor’s degree in history from Marshall University and obtained his law degree from West Virginia University.
“I feel like I have obtained the skills and experiences as a prosecutor and a juvenile court referee to serve as a representative in Charleston and as an advocate for this district,” he said.
Woelfel is the only person to announce candidacy for the district seat. Cabell County Delegate Kevin Craig, also a Democrat, filed pre-candidacy paperwork in July. However, he has since said that he will not run for the Senate and will leave the House of Delegates when his term expires at the end of 2014 to spend more time with his family.