|Secretary of State of West Virginia|
January 19, 2009
Earl Ray Tomblin
|Preceded by||Betty Ireland|
December 25, 1967 |
Fairmont, West Virginia, U.S.
|Alma mater||West Virginia University,
Natalie E. Tennant (born December 25, 1967) is the Secretary of State of West Virginia. She was elected in 2008 and officially took office as the 29th Secretary of State on January 19, 2009. She is a member of the Democratic Party.
Prior to her election as Secretary of State, Tennant was a television broadcaster and reporter, working at WBOY-TV in Clarksburg and later at WCHS-TV in Charleston. Tennant was also co-owner of a small business – Wells Media Group, a Charleston-based video production and media training company.
Early life and education
Tennant grew up on a farm in Fairview, Marion County, West Virginia and is the daughter of John and Rose Mary Tennant. She is a 1985 graduate of North Marion High School in Farmington, West Virginia. She graduated from West Virginia University in 1991 with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism, and she obtained a master’s degree in Corporate and Organizational Communication from WVU in 2002. While at WVU, Tennant was selected in 1990 as the first woman to represent the university as the Mountaineers' mascot. Following completion of her undergraduate degree in 1991, Tennant began her career in television broadcasting and reporting.
2008 Secretary of State Campaign
In 2008 Tennant beat out then-Democratic House of Delegates Majority Leader Joe DeLong and then-State Senator Billy Wayne Bailey to become Secretary of State. Tennant also ran for the office in 2004 but lost in the primary to Ken Hechler by about 1,000 votes.
West Virginia's 29th Secretary of State
Tennant officially took office as the 29th West Virginia Secretary of State on January 19, 2009.
As Secretary of State, Tennant is West Virginia’s Chief Election Officer. In 2010, Tennant piloted an online voting initiative for West Virginian military members and overseas citizens for the primary election. In the 5 counties that participated in Tennant’s pilot project, the rate of return was 82% for those who requested ballots, in comparison to the 40% rate of return for regular absentee voters in the pilot counties. Tennant testified before Congress on the success of West Virginia’s program in February 2011.
Tennant also oversees the state’s Business and Licensing Division. Tennant has instituted a number of initiatives to make it easier for businesses to operate in West Virginia, including eliminating transaction fees for businesses that file online, expanding online services to include obtaining Certificates of Existence and Certificates of Authorization, and setting up a mobile Secretary of State’s office to help business owners file annual reports. Under Tennant, the West Virginia Secretary of State’s office saw a significant increase in online business filings. In 2013, Tennant's department returned $3 million in unused revenue to the state after Tennant enacted cost-saving measures and favorably settled two lawsuits.
2011 Gubernatorial Campaign
On January 20, 2011, Tennant announced she was running for the Democratic nomination for Governor of West Virginia for the 2011 special gubernatorial election. Tennant focused her campaign on openness and accountability, which she says has been a hallmark of her tenure as Secretary of State.
2014 Senate candidacy
Tennant is running for the Senate in 2014. The seat is open after incumbent Democrat Jay Rockefeller announced his retirement. Tennant may face Republican Congressman Shelley Moore Capito in the general election, but isn't expected to face any significant primary opposition after other Democrats passed on the race. In announcing her campaign, Tennant stated, "I will fight any Republican or any Democrat — including President Barack Obama — who tries to kill our energy jobs, whether they are coal, natural gas, wind or water.” Tennant has been endorsed by Senator Rockefeller, Senator Joe Manchin, and Governor Earl Ray Tomblin.
Prior to Tennant's election as Secretary of State, she was co-owner of Wells Media Group, a Charleston-based video production and media training company she operated with her husband, state Senator Erik Wells. Tennant and Wells have one daughter, Delaney, and reside in Charleston.
- "Natalie Tennant". The West Virginia Encyclopedia. December 8, 2010. Retrieved February 8, 2010.
- "West Virginia Secretary of State's office". sos.wv.gov. Retrieved 28 December 2010.
- "Natalie E. Tennant – 1990". WVU Mountaineers. Retrieved 28 December 2010.
- "Sec of State_Elections". Retrieved 28 March 2011.
- "Sec of State_Online Voting Pilot Program". Retrieved 28 March 2011.
- "Sec of State_Congressional Testimony on Online Voting". Retrieved 28 March 2011.
- "Sec of State_Business and Licensing". Retrieved 28 March 2011.
- "Sec of State_Online Business Filing Fees Eliminated". Retrieved 28 March 2011.
- "Sec of State_Online Business Services Expanded". Retrieved 28 March 2011.
- "Sec of State_Mobile Office". Retrieved 28 March 2011.
- "Sec of State_Increased Online Business Filings". Retrieved 28 March 2011.
- Eyre, Eric (12 September 2013). "Secretary of State's Office returns $3M to W.Va.'s coffers". The Charleston Gazette. Retrieved 14 September 2013.
- Fritz, Doug (January 20, 2011). "Tennant Announces Candidacy for Governor". WVNS-TV. Retrieved January 20, 2011.
- "Associated Press Reports on WV Gubernatorial Special Election". Retrieved 28 March 2011.
- "Public Policy Polling - W.Va. Governor's Race". Retrieved 28 March 2011.
- Kercheval, Hoppy (13 September 2013). "Tennant to run for U.S. Senate". Metro News. Retrieved 14 September 2013.
- Kercheval, Hoppy (22 August 2013). "Natalie Tennant said to be considering Senate run". Charleston Daily Mail. Retrieved 14 September 2013.
- Hohmann, James (17 September 2013). "West Virginia Senate race 2014: Natalie Tennant seeks distance from Obama, coal policy". Politico. Retrieved 18 September 2013.
- Nyden, Paul J. (17 September 2013). "Tennant announces run for Senate". The Charleston Gazette. Retrieved 19 September 2013.
- West Virginia Secretary of State Natalie Tennant
- Natalie Tennant campaign site
- Biography at Ballotpedia
- Biography, voting record, and interest group ratings at Project Vote Smart
- Financial information (state office) at the National Institute for Money in State Politics
- Appearances on C-SPAN programs
- Interview with Natalie Tennant On WV PBS October, 2008
- Twitter account
|Secretary of State of West Virginia