Republican Candidate John Raese's Wife Can't Vote For Him: Purged From WV Voter Rolls As A Registered FL Voter

Despite many protestations that they are WV residents and care about WV issues, the wife of tea party Republican Senate candidate John Raese cannot vote for husband as she was purged from WV voter rolls. Why? She's already a registered FL voter.

In an escalating residency controversy between West Virginia’s Senate contenders, the wife of Republican businessman John Raese is being purged from the state’s voter rolls because she is also registered to vote in Florida.

John Raese is running against Democratic Gov. Joe Manchin to fill the seat of the late Sen. Robert Byrd (D).

Roll Call confirmed Friday that Elizabeth Raese is registered to vote in both states but has not voted in West Virginia since 1998. But in an interview this week with Time magazine, she indicated that she would be — and has been — voting in West Virginia.

“We are West Virginians,” Elizabeth Raese said, according to Time reporter Jay Newton-Small. “We live here, we vote here, people know that. We also have a home in Colorado, but we’re not residents there either.”

Raese campaign spokesman Kevin McLaughlin said Elizabeth Raese does not remember the conversation with the Time reporter, but he added that, “If she did say this, she obviously misspoke.”

Though John Raese’s campaign has repeatedly confirmed that he lives and pays taxes in West Virginia, an investigation by the nonpartisan showed that his wife has been registered to vote in Palm Beach County, Fla., since 2001 and voted there in 2008.

The "carpetbagger" charge is one that is apparently taken far more seriously in West Virginia than the "teabagger" charge. This could undermine Raese's campaign against Gov. Joe Manchin for the Senate seat. So Raese has been on the defensive:

Morgantown industrialist John Raese defended his residency, despite owning a mansion in Palm Beach, Fla., on which his wife, Liz, claims a homestead exemption as a Florida resident.

"I've never been a resident of Florida. I pay taxes and I live here in West Virginia," Raese said, adding, "My wife isn't running for U.S. Senate. I am.

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