Faircloth, 64, of Inwood, W.Va., said in a news release that he has been encouraged by friends and supporters to run for Capito’s seat and would work hard with both political parties if elected.
“In November of 2014, when the election is over, the job of representing the citizens of our state and nation must begin and the gridlock in Washington, D.C., must stop,” Faircloth said in his announcement.
Faircloth said Wednesday that he would never run against Capito, R-W.Va., who announced in November that she would seek the Senate seat held by U.S. Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., in 2014. Rockefeller since has announced he will not seek re-election.
Faircloth filed a pre-candidacy form for the 2nd Congressional District on Jan. 16, according to Secretary of State Natalie Tennant’s office. Republican Robert L. Fluharty of Charles Town, W.Va., and Democrat Steven A. Gower of Weston, W.Va., also have filed pre-candidacy forms for the seat, according to Tennant’s office.
Faircloth’s bid for Congress follows his unsuccessful bid for state auditor in last year’s general election in which he was defeated by Democratic incumbent Glen B. Gainer III.
“I knew it was an uphill battle,” Faircloth said Wednesday.
Gainer defeated him by a margin of 57 percent to 42 percent statewide, but Faircloth said the election results also show he was much more competitive with Gainer in the 17 counties that comprise the 2nd District. Gainer’s lead over Faircloth in the congressional district narrowed to a 52-47 percent margin, according to election results Faircloth released Wednesday.
Faircloth said he also received substantially more votes in the 2nd District than Capito’s Democratic opponent, Howard Swint. Faircloth previously ran for governor in 2004 and 2011, but was defeated in the Republican Party’s primary for the nomination.
If elected, Faircloth said he pledges to adhere to the U.S. Constitution, protect the freedoms it grants to Americans and would strive to pass a budget each year and work to balance it.
“It is extremely important for Congress to set an agenda to fix the economy and to work with the business community — both small and large — to create jobs,” Faircloth said. “In this nation, every person who is able and willing to work should have access to a job.”
Faircloth, who served 24 years in the House of Delegates, noted Wednesday that he served with Capito, U.S. Rep. David McKinley, R-W.Va., and U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., in the West Virginia Legislature.
While federal candidates do not have to file precandidacy forms with the state, some do, according to Tennant’s office.
In state and local elections, a candidate can lawfully begin to accept contributions and make expenditures for election after filing a precandidacy form, which allows prospective candidates to “test the waters,” according to Tennant’s office.