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Nebraska, W. Virginia Head to Polls

May 15, 2002

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Nebraska Democrats chose nominees Tuesday to oppose two popular Republicans _ Sen. Chuck Hagel and Gov. Mike Johanns _ while GOP voters in West Virginia picked a candidate to take on Sen. Jay Rockefeller, a four-term Democrat.

In West Virginia, former state Sen. Jay Wolfe won the GOP nomination to take on Rockefeller, who trounced his two primary challengers.

In Nebraska, construction worker Charlie Matulka and Al Hamburg, a homeless man, sought the Democratic nomination to take on Hagel, who was unopposed for the GOP nomination for a second term. Libertarian candidate John Graziano will also be on the fall ballot.

Johanns, also seeking a second term, faced Robert Wicht in the GOP primary while Stormy Dean and Luis Calvillo sought the Democratic nomination.

Dean, the chief financial officer for database giant InfoUSA, was expected to defeat Calvillo, a self-employed jewelry salesman. In fact, Dean spent the final week of his campaign criticizing the governor’s handling of Nebraska’s economy.

In a West Virginia congressional primary, Margaret Workman and Jim Humphreys battled for the nomination to take on GOP Rep. Shelley Moore Capito.

Humphreys, a former state legislator who lost to Capito two years ago, gathered $2.5 million for the race, three times more than Workman, a former state Supreme Court justice. Both candidates spent the bulk of the cash on advertising, including a flurry of last-minute ads slamming each other.

Also in West Virginia, 13-term Rep. Nick Rahall easily defeated his challenger in the Democratic primary in a race that amounts to re-election since there were no Republican candidates.

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On the Net:

Secretary of state sites: http://www.wvsos.com and http://www.nol.org/home/SOS

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