Constitution Party on ballot for U.S. Senate seat
By MATTHEW UMSTEAD
MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — Berkeley County resident Jeff Becker, chairman of the Constitution Party of West Virginia, has successfully petitioned to run for the U.S. Senate seat held by the late U.S. Sen. Robert C. Byrd in the Nov. 2 general election.
“He got the required number of signatures. He will be on the ballot,” Jake Glance, spokesman for Secretary of State Natalie Tennant’s office, said Thursday.
A substitute school teacher, Becker, 47, of Inwood, W.Va., said he had about 30 days to obtain 1,756 signatures to get on the ballot as a minor party candidate. He then filed a second petition with 1,740 signatures to get a waiver from having to pay the filing fee.
“It was a lot of work. I went to a lot of county fairs,” said Becker, recalling trips to Lewis, Upshur, Hampshire and Jefferson counties.
When asked why he was running, Becker said the nation needs to return to adhering to the U.S. Constitution.
“The Senate was not supposed to be a third or fourth or fifth representative,” said Becker, who served in the West Virginia Air National Guard for six years. “It’s supposed to represent the (state and their legislatures).”
Becker joins West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin, the Democratic Party nominee; Morgantown businessman John Raese, the Republican Party nominee; and Mountain Party candidate Jesse Johnson on the ballot.
“The other three candidates are interested in being senators from West Virginia,” Becker said. “I want to be a senator for West Virginia.”
If elected, Becker said he also would represent his party’s seven principles — life, liberty, family, property rights, the U.S. constitution as originally written, states’ rights and American sovereignty.
Among those who signed the petitions, Becker said about half of them indicated they wanted a choice other than the nominees from the Republican and Democratic parties, which he said have been financially irresponsible.
Before running for Senate, Becker said he was a candidate in 2008 for Berkeley County surveyor, a state constitutional office that comes with no official duties or salary. Becker said he received about 9 percent of the vote.
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