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Cabell County Democratic Women start the candidate search

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BARBOURSVILLE, WV -

It's always campaign season for those involved in politics, and one organization already is starting to focus on finding future candidates.

Members of the Democratic Women's Club of Cabell County met Jan. 26 with the topic of "Developing Democratic Candidates."

Susan Hubbard, president of the West Virginia Federation of Democratic Women, told the roughly two dozen people in the room that now is the time to get organized for 2014.

Hubbard started the discussion with the reminder that campaigns often hinge on the financials.

"When I ran for office the first time, I spent $3,000, and I won," said Hubbard, a former member of the House of Delegates. "The last time, I spent $30,000, and I lost, and that was four to six years ago."

Hubbard said members of the party should start now to raise money, even though fundraising isn't many people's idea of a fun time.

"And we need to develop candidates now," she said. "More like yesterday."

The West Virginia Democratic Party will be organizing leadership training for new candidates and current office-holders.

Hubbard said the best example of a West Virginia Democrat who served in several offices, moving up to more prominent positions through the years, is U.S. Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va. Rockefeller announced this month that he would not run for a sixth term in 2014, something Hubbard said was good to let people know. But Rockefeller's political career started long before he was elected to the Senate in 1984. Rockefeller started in the House of Delegates in 1966, served one term and then was elected Secretary of State in 1968. He served two terms as governor after winning election in 1976 and 1980.

"I hate to see him not run again," Hubbard said. "Basically, we need to start looking now for candidates at all levels."

Hubbard said she knows the state Democratic Party lost three or four seats in the Legislature this year because lawmakers did not tell the party they weren't going to run for re-election until after the state's filing date had passed.

"Campaigns don't happen overnight," Hubbard said. "We need to consider other Democrats as possible candidates now, and develop leadership within the party so they can be good candidates when we need them."

Hubbard also mentioned the importance of getting voters to the polls.

"If 2 percent more Democrats statewide would have voted (former Attorney General Darrell McGraw) would have been elected," she said. "The state is three-to-one registered Democrats; we should never lose any election."