Gainer may run for U.S. House

PARKERSBURG – West Virginia Auditor Glen Gainer III is taking a serious look at running for the U.S. House of Representatives 1st District in 2014.

Gainer, a Democrat, said he’s disgusted with the non-stop politics in Washington, D.C., where neither party is willing to compromise.

“Compromise is not a dirty word,” Gainer said.

Gainer has been state auditor since 1992 and was last elected in 2012 for a term expiring in 2016.

The Parkersburg native Thursday told the newspaper he is seriously considering running for the congressional seat because of “total disgust with what’s going on in Washington.”

Lawmakers are playing political games while the nation burns, he said. He applauds U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., who is a chairman of No Labels, a national group that promotes non-partisan problem solving.

“That’s what should be happening,” Gainer said.

Congressmen must realize there is both a spending and revenue problem, Gainer said. Entire departments and services could be eliminated and still not eliminate the federal debt, he said.

A result of the posturing in Washington was the automatic budget cuts, which will have a great impact on the Parkersburg area, such as the closing of the air traffic control tower at the Mid-Ohio Valley Regional Airport, and in the 1st District where the federal government is the top employer, including Public Debt in Parkersburg and the FBI center in Clarksburg, Gainer said.

“These things are important to our way of life in Parkersburg,” Gainer said.

Gainer’s possible candidacy has enlivened the 1st District, according to Larry Puccio, chairman of the West Virginia Democratic Party. Many people are encouraging him to run, Puccio said.

“People are pretty excited,” Puccio said. “There’s just so many people excited and folks encouraging him to run.”

No one else has been cited as a Democratic candidate for the district, Puccio said. Gainer is a good candidate and a good person who is well respected, he said.

“I just think he’s an outstanding person,” Puccio said.

A decision will be made in several months, Gainer said. Among factors are fundraising and support, his family and whether he can make a difference, he said.

“Can I make a difference and can I help improve what’s happening in Washington,” Gainer said.

Gainer, 53, said he enjoys being auditor, but has reached a point where he must decide if his career will change its course. Congress has always been an interest and goal, however, Alan Mollohan, the former representative who lost the 2010 Democratic primary to Mike Oliverio, who lost to Republican David McKinley, an engineer from Wheeling.

Gainer is a native of Parkersburg and graduated with a degree in political science from the University of Charleston. He succeeded his father, Glen Gainer Jr., who was auditor for 16 years.