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W.Va. Governor Won’t Seek Re-Election

August 12, 2003

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) _ Gov. Bob Wise announced Tuesday that he will not seek a second term, ending weeks of speculation about the embattled Democrat’s political future.

Wise is the first governor not to seek re-election since the state Constitution was changed in 1970 to allow a sitting governor to serve a second consecutive term.

Wise dropped out of the race three months after acknowledging he cheated on his wife of 19 years. The 55-year-old was linked to Angela Mascia, who oversees European projects for the West Virginia Development Office.

Mascia, 35, was married at the time but has since divorced. Her ex-husband, Philip Frye, vowed to remind voters of the affair, even by running for governor himself.

Wise’s wife, Sandy, said she accepted her husband’s apology but since has not been seen publicly with him.

Wise served 18 years in Congress before defeating incumbent Republican Gov. Cecil Underwood in 2000.

Some of West Virginia’s thorniest issues have greeted Wise since he became governor. He expanded the state lottery system to encompass video poker-style machines, long suspected of illicit payouts. He signed a bill legalizing heavier weights for coal trucks and supported jury award caps in medical malpractice cases.

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