TEN INCUMBENT LEGISLATORS APPEAR DEFEATED - Senate President Carmichael Goes Down, Porterfield Comes In Number 5, 22-Year-Old Riley Keaton Defeats Incumbent In Roane

With Tuesday's Primary Election there is an apparent defeat of 10 incumbent legislators.

Perhaps the most stunning was the defeat of Senate President Mitch Carmichael(R), who was a step away from being governor. He was defeated by a female school teacher.

During his two years in the House, Eric Porterfield (R) made headlines for homophobic comments, that if his son was gay he would kill him. In the last regular session, for run-ins with House leadership that, on one occasion, led to his demanding that bills be read on the floor in their entirety, bringing the legislative process to a grinding halt.

One of the long-serving incumbents defeated Tuesday, Delegate Daryl Cowles, R-Morgan, said Wednesday he could not recall a previous time when so many incumbents were defeated in a primary election.

All 10 incumbent legislators apparently defeated Tuesday — with significant numbers of absentee and provisional ballots still outstanding — are Republicans, three state senators and seven delegates.

Riley Keaton (R) of Roane County, now 22, was a senior in high school when he first voted in an election four years ago and also, at the same time, first ran for public office.

He lost in the 2016 Republican primary for the 11th House District which includes parts of Roane County and Jackson County to now-Delegate Rick Atkinson (R-Roane), assistant House majority whip.

The difference in 2016 was 28 votes.

Atkinson ran that year after first being appointed to the House in 2015.

In Tuesday’s primary, Keaton won the nomination over Atkinson by 93 votes, according to unofficial results.

“I think we’re looking at a community here that desperately needs something different, desperately needs different results,” Keaton said.

“I believe that I have the passion, I’ve got the vision and the commitment, the dedication to try to deliver that for people, so that’s why I ran for House of Delegates.”

Keaton is a part-time student at West Virginia University studying economics, an apprentice with a venture capital firm and a program developer, fundraiser and event planner for the Youth Leadership Association.

To be elected, he’ll have to win over Mark Pauley, a Democrat who has billed himself as “the people’s representative.” Pauley ran unopposed in Tuesday’s primary.

“I believe that our message of the people want their government back and I intend to give it to them is something that appeals just as strongly, if not more strongly, in a general election as it does in a primary,” Keaton said.

There is only one seat in the 11th House District.

(DISCLOSURE STATEMENT - Delegate Elect Riley Keaton is the grandson of Hur Herald editor Bob Weaver)