Two well-known figures on the political scene in North Central West Virginia are facing off for the Senate seat in the 11th District, which includes the Panhandle counties of Pendleton and Grant.
Denise Campbell, who served in the House of Delegates for three terms from 2011 to 2016, is one of the candidates. Campbell was born in 1964 and makes her home in Elkins. She is a registered nurse, holding several advanced nursing degrees from Capella University, Marshall University and Alderson Broaddus University, where she holds a teaching position. She has been a member of the Randolph County Farm Bureau and a supporter of the Izaak Walton League. Four years ago she was given the WV State FFA Honorary Degree. She supports young farmers, family farmers, 4-H and FFA programs.
Her opponent is Robert Karnes, from Upshur County. Karnes previously held the other Senate seat in the 11th District but was defeated in the primary in 2018. While in the Senate Karnes was one of the more controversial figures in the Legislature. He is a West Virginia native, having grown up in Nitro. He is an IT specialist and entrepreneur. The website VoteSmart.org reported that Karnes has been opposed to state funding of conservation upgrades and any additional regulation to control greenhouse gasses. Karnes remains controversial, as this op-ed in the Charleston Gazette demonstrates.