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HUNTINGTON — The race to be the Democratic nominee for the 3rd Congressional District in West Virginia has concluded, with the winner earning the spot by 67 votes.

The contest for the position between candidates Lacy Watson and Hilary Turner ended in victory for Turner, who won the nomination with 16,817 votes in comparison to Watson’s 16,750, out of 57,100 Democratic votes cast in the June 9 primary election.

“My staff and I are both incredibly excited and relieved,” said Turner, who reported feeling anxious last week while the results were being tallied. “We’ve obviously still got a long and very difficult campaign ahead of us though.”

Turner announced her victory on her Facebook page Thursday, voicing elation and praise not only for her own campaign, but for those of other Democrats running for Congress. Turner pointed out that nearly a century after women received the right to vote on Aug. 18, 1920, West Virginia had elected a female Democratic nominee in every congressional race, as well as the Senate.

Alongside 1st District candidate Natalie Cline, 2nd District candidate Cathy Kunkel and senatorial candidate Paula Jean Swearengin, Turner called for West Virginia voters to send “four unabashedly progressive women to Washington, D.C., to represent us.”

Should Turner succeed in the general election, she would become the first female Democratic congresswoman in the 3rd District, and the second woman to hold the position at all, with incumbent Republican Carol Miller having been the first in 2019.

“I’m very proud of my state,” said Turner. “I definitely think it’s a sign of progress. This historic moment means a lot to me personally, and I hope it’s an inspiration for girls and women across West Virginia.”

Turner, Cline, Kunkel and Swearengin have all signed on to take part in the West Virginia Can’t Wait movement, a platform started by West Virginia gubernatorial candidate Stephen Smith, promising to “never take corporate PAC money, never cross a picket line and never hide from a debate.”

Moving forward, Turner said she wants to continue attempting to build up grassroots momentum through West Virginia Can’t Wait, earn coalition support across the state and to personally reach out to as many people as possible.

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