- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 13, 2014

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - West Virginia Secretary of State Natalie Tennant has won the Democratic nomination for the U.S. Senate.

She defeated Dennis Melton and David B. Wamsley on Tuesday in the contest to replace Sen. Jay Rockefeller, who is retiring.

Her Republican opponent, U.S. Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, is favored to win the general election and currently has a 4-to-1 cash advantage.

Tennant spent 12 years as a television reporter in West Virginia and was the first woman to serve as West Virginia University’s Mountaineer mascot.

She is counting on her allegiance to the coal industry to separate herself from an unpopular President Barack Obama.

West Virginia has never elected a female senator and hasn’t sent a Republican to the Senate since the 1950s.

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