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In the 3rd district, unofficial, incomplete returns showed Rahall with a hefty lead over retired Army officer Richard Ojeda.

It marked only the third primary challenge for Rahall since 2000.

Rahall, the only remaining Democrat in the state’s three-member U.S. House delegation, will seek his 20th term in the U.S. House in November’s general election.

Standing in his way will be Jenkins, 53, who switched parties last summer after 20 years as a Democrat and was unopposed for the GOP nomination.

“I’m ready for it,” Rahall said.

Long before voters went to the polls in the primary, the fall campaign already was in full stride with Rahall and Jenkins targeting each other and outside interests buying radio and TV spots.

Americans for Prosperity, funded by the billionaire Koch brothers, has paid for ads criticizing Rahall’s vote for the federal health care law. Jenkins, 53, executive director of the West Virginia State Medical Association, has said the law is costly and kills jobs. He has pledged to repeal it.

First District Republican Rep. David McKinley will face Democratic state auditor Glen Gainer III in November. Both ran unopposed in Tuesday’s primary.