PARKERSBURG - The 2012 general election will go down as a watershed year for the West Virginia Republican Party, party officers said.
Republicans picked up 11 seats in the House of Delegates and three in the Senate, despite not fielding a candidate in seven of the 17 Senate races. Also, Republican Patrick Morrisey defeated Attorney General Darrell McGraw, a Democrat running for a fifth term, and Republican Allen Loughry won one of two seats to the state Supreme Court.
"I would describe it as a great night for the Republican Party and a great night for the state of West Virginia," Chad Holland, executive director of the Republican Party, said.
In the House races, Republican Danny Hamrick defeated incumbent Delegate Ron Fragale, president pro tempore of the House, in the 48th District in Harrison and Taylor counties,
Incumbent Delegate Stan Shaver lost to Republican Randy Smith in the 53rd District in Preston County.
Incumbent Delegate Larry Barker lost to Republican Joshua Nelson in Boone County in the 18th District.
In Putnam County in the 13th District, incumbent Delegate Helen Martin was defeated by Republican Scott Cadle.
In the redrawn 35th District in Kanawha County, Republicans Suzette Raines and John McCuskey defeated incumbent Delegates Bobbie Hatfield and Bonnie Brown.
Cindy Frich, a former Republican delegate, won in the new 51st District in Monongalia County, Republican George "Boogie" Ambler won in the 42nd District in Greenbrier County, Republican John Shott won in the 27th District of Mercer County, Republican Roy Cooper won in the 28th District in Summers County and Republican David Evans won in the 4th District in Marshall County.
In the Senate, Republican Bill Cole defeated incumbent Sen. Mark Wills in the 6th District in Mercer County, Republican Chris Walters defeated Democrat Joshua Martin in District 8, a redrawn district formerly held by a Democrat, and Republican Craig Blair won in the 15th District, Holland said.
Former Delegate Mitch Carmichael, R-Jackson, ran for the Senate and won and will succeed Sen. Karen Facemyer, a Republican who did not run for re-election, in the 4th District.
The results exceeded expectations and President Obama, despite winning re-election, was a major factor in the success of the Republican Party because of the administration policies and coal and other fossil fuels, said Holland. Moreover, the state Democratic Party endorsed Obama and that didn't sit well with voters, according to Holland.
"That came back to bite them," he said.
Forty-six of the 100 members of the House will be Republicans and nine in the Senate, according to Conrad Lucas, chairman of the Republican Party. It will be the most delegates and statewide elected officeholders than time in the 80 years, he said.
"It was a great night for us," Lucas, who was appointed chairman this year, said.
He also believes the party will build upon the momentum toward 2014 elections and the Republicans will take a majority in the House.
"We will flip the House of Delegates in 2014," Lucas said.