CHARLESTON - Former West Virginia Democratic Party Chairman Nick Casey acknowledges "it doesn't matter anymore whether you are a Democrat or Republican" when one seeks public office in the Mountain State.
Casey, 59, of Charleston, announced Tuesday he will seek the Democratic nomination to West Virginia's 2nd District U.S. House seat next year. Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, R-Charleston, now holds the seat, but has indicated she will run for U.S. Senate in 2014, rather than seek an additional House term.
An attorney for 36 years, Casey is the managing partner of the Lewis, Glasser, Casey and Rollins law firm.
"The businesses I work with don't need a Democrat or Republican representing them - they just need someone to work for them," Casey said. "They want someone who is a rational, main stream individual. They don't want a knucklehead who goes there (to Washington) for the sake of a fight - who only says 'no.' They want rational, normal people ....
"Most people don't care if you're a Democrat or Republican - they just want something done."
The 2nd District encompasses the state's Eastern Panhandle, then extends westward diagonally across the middle-section of West Virginia - taking in Charleston and extending to the state's border with Ohio.
In addition to being an attorney, Casey also has worked as a certified public accountant. He presently serves as treasurer-elect of the American Bar Association, where he said he oversees a consolidated budget of $205 million.
"I know how to work a budget, and I would like to take a pencil to the U.S. budget," he said. "If you put an accountant's eye to it, you can squeeze the budget a little. You don't have to cut.
"I understand the budget."
Some political reports suggested Casey might be considering a run for U.S. Senate, and opposing Capito in the 2014 general election. But he explained he has always lived in Charleston and the 2nd District, and understands well its "true logistics and size."
Running for Senate, Casey continued, would have required excessive traveling throughout the state to get to know other areas - and someone wanting to effectively do this would have had to start their campaign six months ago, he added.
Casey said he instead wants to focus on the issues of the 2nd District.
"It's a big district - but not very wide," he commented. "You have to reach out to folks ... because they are all different. It's a really diverse district.
"You have to work hard to make sure you understand the diverse needs, and the different priorities in different parts of the district."