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1996 West Virginia gubernatorial election

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

1996 West Virginia gubernatorial election

← 1992 November 5, 1996 2000 →
Cecil Underwood 1998 (cropped).jpg
No image.svg
Nominee Cecil Underwood Charlotte Pritt
Party Republican Democratic
Popular vote 324,518 287,870
Percentage 51.6% 45.8%

West Virginia gubernatorial election 1996.svg
County Results

Underwood:      40-50%      50-60%      60-70%      70-80%

Pritt:      40–50%      50–60%      60–70%      70–80%

Governor before election

Gaston Caperton

Elected Governor

Cecil Underwood

The 1996 West Virginia gubernatorial election took place on November 5, 1996 to elect the Governor of West Virginia. Republican Cecil Underwood, who had previously been the Governor of West Virginia from 1957 to 1961, defeated Democratic State Senator Charlotte Pritt. Concurrently, the state voted the opposite way federally, choosing Democratic U.S. Presidential nominee, incumbent Bill Clinton over Republican nominee Bob Dole in the Presidential election that year.

Pritt was the first woman to secure the West Virginia gubernatorial nomination of either of the two major political parties. This was the last election in which a Republican was elected Governor of West Virginia until 2020. Former Republican Jim Justice was elected in the 2016 election as a Democrat and later switched back to the Republican Party seven months into his term, making him the first Republican governor since 2001 when Underwood left office.

Democratic primary

West Virginia Democratic gubernatorial primary, 1996[1]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Charlotte Pritt 130,107 39.54
Democratic Joe Manchin 107,124 32.56
Democratic Jim Lees 64,100 19.48
Democratic Larrie Bailey 15,733 4.78
Democratic Bobbie Edward Myers 3,038 0.92
Democratic Lyle Sattes 2,931 0.89
Democratic Bob Henry Baber 1,456 0.44
Democratic Louis J. Davis 1,351 0.41
Democratic Frank Rochetti 1,330 0.40
Democratic Richard E. Koon 1,154 0.35
Democratic Fred Schell 733 0.22
Total votes 329,057 100.00

Republican primary

West Virginia Republican gubernatorial primary, 1996[2]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Cecil Underwood 54,628 40.78
Republican Jon McBride 44,255 33.03
Republican David McKinley 64,100 26.19
Total votes 133,972 100.00


West Virginia gubernatorial election, 1996[3]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Cecil Underwood 324,518 51.63% +15.07%
Democratic Charlotte Pritt 287,870 45.80% -10.21%
Libertarian Wallace Johnson 16,171 2.57% +2.57%
Margin of victory 36,648 5.83% -13.62%
Total votes 628,559 100%
Republican gain from Democratic Swing


  1. ^ "WV Governor - D Primary 1996". Our Campaigns. Retrieved September 18, 2017.
  2. ^ "1996 Primary Election - Official Returns of the Republican party" (PDF). WV Secretary of State. Retrieved 6 March 2021.
  3. ^

See also

This page was last edited on 6 March 2021, at 12:44
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