September 20th, 2010
03:00 PM ET
4 years ago

Conservative group eyes Byrd's old Senate seat

FreedomWorks has endorsed West Virginia GOP Senate nominee John Raese.
FreedomWorks has endorsed West Virginia GOP Senate nominee John Raese.

Washington (CNN) – A leading conservative grassroots organization is taking aim at Robert Byrd's old Senate seat.

FreedomWorks announced Monday that they are endorsing Republican businessman John Raese, the GOP Senate nominee in West Virginia. Late last month Raese won the GOP nomination and will face off in a special election on Nov. 2 against the popular two-term Gov. Joe Manchin, the Democratic nominee.

The winner will fill the remaining two years of the term of longtime Democratic Sen. Robert Byrd, who died earlier this year.

FreedomWorks says it plans to support the Raese campaign with get-out-the-vote efforts, "including direct mailings, yard sign distribution, volunteer phone banks and neighborhood literature drops leading up to election day," according to a statement.

"John Raese recognizes that the most effective government solution to America's economic woes is to stay out of the way and give people the freedom to succeed on their own merits. This is exactly the kind of mindset we need in Washington right now," said FreedomWorks PAC President Matt Kibbe.

FreedomWorks is a nonprofit conservative organization based in the nation's capitol that helps train volunteer activists and has provided much of the organization behind the Tea Party movement.

Raese is the president and chief executive officer of Greer Industries, which includes steel and mining operations. He ran and lost to Byrd in the 2006 Senate race in West Virginia. The most recent polls of likely West Virginia voters suggest that Manchin holds a single digit lead over Raese.

But Monday, in what could be a blow to Raese, the national and West Virginia state chapters of the Chamber of Commerce endorsed Manchin. The West Virginia governor becomes the first Senate Democratic nominee the national Chamber of Commerce has endorsed this campaign cycle.

Jesse Johnson of the Mountain Party is also on the ballot in the general election.

Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @psteinhausercnn


Filed under: 2010 • FreedomWorks • West Virginia
soundoff (27 Responses)
  1. Barry

    Wow! Who would have thought a Republican would have taken Kennedy's seat and could do the same thing with Byrd's.

    September 20, 2010 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  2. ex-sarge

    If Freedom Works is no grassroots organization, come on CNN, do some real reporting for a change.

    Remember, the media is only as liberal as the corporations that own it.

    September 20, 2010 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  3. steven harnack

    Add lies, slander and innuendo when you describe freedom works tactics

    September 20, 2010 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  4. stufit

    Wouldn't that be wonderful, get the seats of Kennedy, Biden and Byrd, as well as Obama's bare used but well corrupted one in one year. Hope and Change.

    September 20, 2010 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  5. phoney 86

    I was just thinking about Christian values and the tea party. Their idea of religion is just like mine: I believe Jesus would be against Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, policemen, firemen, veterans, teachers, nurses, the uninsured, Hispanics, Blacks, the middle and lower class; and Jesus would be in favor of the Koch brothers, big oil, Wall Street, big insurance, and Jesus would also extend the Bush tax cuts.

    September 20, 2010 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  6. GOP Scorched Earth Politics

    FreedomWorks is nothing but a bunch of Big $ Corporate Lobbyists trying to pretend to be for the people. There's nothing "Free" about what they represent...corporate greed and shipping millions of more jobs to India/China.

    September 20, 2010 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  7. Hunter of the lib hunter

    It is good to see the "Guns for Jesus" crowd out and about.

    September 20, 2010 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  8. Whatever

    Funny that the Repubs say that the Dems are walking lock step with Obama. Heck you did the same with Bush and look at how the country went down hill. Funny how people say that under Dem control starting in 2007 the recession kicked in – DUH – you pay 10 bil a month for two wars, building up other countries, have no revenue because of all the tax cuts, or by giving money back to taxpayers (stimulus at least twice) which we had to claim on the near year's taxes and wonder how a recession kicked in?!?!?!?! OMG it had nothing to do with Dem control BUT everything to do with FISCALLY INCOMPETENT Repub leadership. Dems may have been in control of congress but the Repub had the White House. Identifiy one bill that was passed between 2006-2008 that the Dems drafted and was passed and signed by Bush?!???!! Does not exist.

    How can you justify continuing the tax cuts when the rich/corporatations when it ADDS to the deficit. Jobs are steadily being sent overseas. If the Repubs want to repeal something – STOP OUTSOURCING!!!! STOP the madness about the tax cuts! I may not make a lot but willing to at least pay a little more if it means that the country will financially climb out of the hole. They scream about smaller government?! Okay what are you cutting. If you want more border patrols (Gov. employees) - you can't have it both ways!!!!!!

    I want someone to watch/monitor and let us all know, if the Repubs gain control, how fast they vote themselves another raise!!! It will happen just watch!!!!!

    This would be a true contract with America:

    #1 – Term Limits – no more than 2 terms allowed (no jumping from Congress to Senate to get more terms) – - it would become effective immediately – - so if you've beenin office 2 terms or more – - BYE BYE!!
    #2 – Allow the tax cuts to expire for the wealthy and begin paying China and any other country back ASAP
    #3 – Any increases for Congress/Senate must be voted on by the people (general election)
    #4 – STOP OUTSOURCING of jobs
    #5 – START manufacturing products here again
    #6 – REVISE the pension and retirement for government employees (oh yes including Congress/Senate) – no lifetime health coverage!!
    #7 – Foreign companies that do business here (including those who provide call centers) need to pay an access fee
    #8 – Tax or charge a drilling in America fee to all the Non US based oil companies. You want to drill you gotta pay the people to "lease" the space you are using.
    #9 – No new spending (includes grants/loans, etc.)
    #10 – Follow 1-9 until there is a 10 bil SURPLUS!!!!!!!!!!

    September 20, 2010 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  9. Diane

    The Tea Party people and the FreedomWorks people need to go play with toys at toys r us, are just get a Life! These are people that just doesn't have anything esle to do. The Young and the Restless not interesting anymore?

    September 20, 2010 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  10. Margaret

    Why do media outlets keep calling this Koch Bros.-funded, Dick Armey-led group called Freedom Works a "grassroots organization"?!?!

    It's about as genuine grassroots as the artificial turf on professional football fields!

    September 20, 2010 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  11. T'SAH from Virginia

    Was Raese VETTED??? Are there any WARLOCKS in his closet??? I am sure it is because the Tea Party could care less about what they are putting in office – as long as they are FAR-FAR RIGHT and WRONG!!!

    Once again – outsiders BUTTING in with local races!!

    "Raese is the president and chief executive officer of Greer Industries" –

    YEP-and most likely sitting on some $$$$$$$$$ and have some kind of 'special interest' in the RepubliCAN'Ts!!! If he is such a great CEO – where are the JOBS??

    Oh yea, BIG CORPs are in the RepubliCAN'T's pocket –
    RepubliCAN'Ts hope to take over the WH –
    if they do... and they WON'T because they have a hidden EVIL agenda – they will do NOTHING for the next two years (hmm, two years sounds like the same amount of time they want to extend the TAX CUTS) –

    the BIG CORPs will LIKE what the RepubliCAN'Ts are doing for them and will return FAVORS in $$$ and start hiring again –

    RepubliCAN'Ts will (try) to take CREDIT for the unemployment rate 'dropping' and continue to say NO!! –

    in the meantime, Middle Class, Poor, health uninsured Americans, and Poverty level victims will SUFFER @ the RepubliCAN'T's expense!!!

    America – we are SMARTER than that!!!

    DEMOCRATS – Politicians need to STATE the CASE – they also need to UNITE the BASE and voters need to get out and VOTE so we can WIN this RACE in November, 2010!!! We cannot allow the EXTREMIST take over!!!

    T’SAH from Virginia – the Liberal – and I approve this message!

    September 20, 2010 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  12. William Jefferson

    How much are the Koch billionaires and the oil industry spending to try to buy this seat?

    September 20, 2010 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  13. Whatever

    For those still screaming about raising taxes during a recession – - NEWS FLASH – - the recession started in December 2007 and formally ENDED in June 2009!!!!!!!!!!!!! RAISE the bleeping taxes and everyone go shut up!!!

    September 20, 2010 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  14. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Manchin is a shoe in, GOP save your money.

    September 20, 2010 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  15. Whatever

    The only ads that should be running should say the recession started in December 2007 and formally ENDED in June 2009!!!!!!!!!!!!! We are healing and indicate how many jobs per month are being added contrasting to how many were being lost back then. We are on the road to recovery and I'm sure the Repubs will brush off that news but it should be easily sweeped under under the rug!!! They need to put an ad up in every state that says that! It's over – - now let's work together on the road to recovery – showing hands being extended!!!!

    My oh my I should have been in advertising!!! LOL

    September 20, 2010 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  16. GL

    John Raese recognizes that the most effective government solution to America's economic woes is to stay out of the way and give people the freedom to succeed on their own merits.

    So easy to do if you are whtie Amreica. These attacks from the far right are directly aiming at the minority in this country that have the most economic woes. These Tea Baggers are straight up nasty and racist toward people who are not as rich and well off and don't look like them. The Tea Baggers are the worst kind of human on this planlet with their nasty attitute with I GOT MIND AND YOU NEED TO GET YOURS mind setting. Everybody is not that luckly to be well off as you white well of Tea Baggers in this country.

    September 20, 2010 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  17. Sue

    This seat should have been an automatic win for Democrats-–but that was before Obama, Pelosi, and Reid.

    West Virginia voters--whose entire economy depends on the coal industry-–know that their economy/state will be destroyed if Obama's Cap and Tax is passed- as the first target for this job killing legislation is to go after the coal industry.

    Therefore, this seat now comes into play as a possible Republican pick up.

    Freedom Works just needs to get out information on how Obama is going to destroy the coal industry-–their jobs-–and that alone should wake up a lot of voters.

    September 20, 2010 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  18. GL

    Raese is the president and chief executive officer of Greer Industries,

    That right lets put all the greedy old white men that our CEO's and who helped cause this mess our country are in with all their deregulations. These greedy CEO have one thing on their mind and that it lets all them all work for the government so they take their government back can keep the rich in this country rich and the poor in this country poor. Smart move American.

    September 20, 2010 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  19. GL

    "John Raese recognizes that the most effective government solution to America's economic woes is to stay out of the way and give people the freedom to succeed on their own merits. This is exactly the kind of mindset we need in Washington right now," said FreedomWorks PAC President Matt Kibbe.

    That right your mindset is too keep the rich rich and the poor poorer. Goevernment is not the bad guy here you greedy CEO are that are running for congress just so you can put an in to GOVERNMENT ALL TOGETHER!

    September 20, 2010 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  20. GL

    Just look at the picture, no minority what so every. These fools are racist driven.

    September 20, 2010 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  21. Peter s

    FreedomWorks = Dick!!! and his goats!! alpha fear mongering old bitter man!!! Dick you are welcome to South Africa and live among the boers!!!

    September 20, 2010 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  22. Freedom Works is Dick Armey's Organization . . . Who is Dick Armey . . .

    Why he's the corrupt former Republican House Majority Leader who went after President Clinton. He's a lobbyist for big oil, big pharma and big coal.

    Could you please try to be a journalistic news organization, CNN? Could you for once give some context to your stories? Would that be too much to ask?

    CNN: "Context Free, so you don't have to think"

    September 20, 2010 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  23. Johny Huber

    there is nothing grass roots about freedom works. astro turf perhaps, but there is nothing but corporate money and greed fueling the fringe.

    September 20, 2010 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  24. Ken in NC

    Yeah, they need to find a conservative moonshiner up there that dabbeled in witch craft on the side to replace the Senator. It's beginning to look like Freedom Works is "Buying up Congressional seats" so they can run the country the way they want to do it, without a constitution. The sad thing is that the people Dick Armey is suckering in can't see it.

    September 20, 2010 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  25. independent

    Assuming that West Virginians accept the FreedomWork's candidate, and assuming he affects changes in Washington along the lines of FreedomWorks stated policies: less government and fewer taxes, West Virginia can kiss goodbye their current sixth-placed ranking in receiving federal money.

    Currently, West Virginia receives $1.74 for every $1 paid in taxes.

    September 20, 2010 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
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