West Virginia's 3rd congressional district
|West Virginia's 3rd congressional district|
|Current Representative||Nick Rahall (D–Beckley)|
|Ethnicity||94.4% White, 4.1% Black, 0.4% Asian, 0.6% Hispanic, 0.2% Native American, 0.0% other|
The modern district has grown in geographic size over the years, as it contains the area of the state that has lost the most population. Most of the congressmen listed below prior to the 1992 election cycle actually represented other parts of the state, as most of the modern 3rd District's history is found in the obsolete 4th, 5th, and 6th Districts. The modern 3rd District began to take shape in the 1960s. For much of its history, the 4th district had been focused on Huntington and the mill towns and farm communities north of that city along the Ohio River, while the 5th and 6th Districts were focused on the then safe democratic coal fields. In the 1970 redistricting, the 5th (which had consumed the 6th due to population loss 10 years earlier) was merged into the 4th, forming a 4th district which was composed of what is now the western half of the modern 3rd. In the 1990 redistricting the old 4th was renumbered as the 3rd and took in what is now the eastern half of its current shape from a previous version of the 2nd District.
The current major areas of the district include the industrial and university city of Huntington, the coal producing southwestern part of the state, and the more conservative farm and timber region of the southeastern part of the state. 2010 Census figures again showed a major population loss, and Mason County was transferred from the 2nd to the 3rd District. This will not change the character of the district in a significant way.
Despite the strength of Democrats at the local and state level, in presidential elections the district is quite competitive. While Bill Clinton carried the district twice in three-way races, Al Gore just narrowly won the district in 2000 with 51% of the vote. George W. Bush won the district in 2004 with 53% of the vote, and John McCain carried the district in 2008 with 55.76% of the vote.
The Third District as originally formed in 1863 included Kanawha, Jackson, Mason, Putnam, Cabell, Clay, Wayne, Logan, Boone, Braxton, Nicholas, Roane and McDowell counties. At that time Lincoln and Mingo counties had not yet been formed, but the territories included in both was in this district. In 1882, the district was reformed of Logan, Wyoming, McDowell, Mercer, Raleigh, Boone, Kanawha, Fayette, Clay, Nicholas, Greenbrier, Monroe, Summers, Webster, Pocahontas, and Upshur counties. In 1902, Logan, Wyoming, McDowell, Raleigh, Boone and Mercer were removed. In 1916 the district was, more or less, renumbered as the new 6th District, and the 3rd was totally reconstituted as Ritchie, Doddridge, Harrison, Calhoun, Gilmer, Lewis, Upshur, Braxton, Clay, Nicholas, and Webster counties. In 1934, Fayette was added. In 1952, Wirt was added. In 1962, the district was again totally broken up and reconstituted as Boone, Clay, Kanawha, Nicholas and Raleigh. In 1972, Raleigh was removed and Ritchie, Wirt, Gilmer, Calhoun, Mason, Jackson, Roane, Braxton, Putnam, Lincoln, and Boone were added. In 1982, Lewis was added.
1992 began the district as currently constituted. It consisted of Boone, Cabell, Fayette, Greenbrier, Lincoln, Logan, McDowell, Mercer, Mingo, Monroe, Pocahontas, Raleigh, Summers, Wayne, Webster, and Wyoming. In 2002, Nicholas was added. For the 2012 cycle, Mason will be added.
List of representatives 
|District created||December 7, 1863|
|Kellian Whaley||Unconditional Unionist||December 7, 1863 - March 4, 1867|
|Daniel Polsley||Republican||March 4, 1867 - March 4, 1869|
|John Witcher||Republican||March 4, 1869 - March 4, 1871|
|Frank Hereford||Democratic||March 4, 1871 – January 31, 1877||Resigned after being elected to the US Senate|
|Vacant||January 31, 1877 – March 4, 1877|
|John E. Kenna||Democratic||March 4, 1877 – March 4, 1883||Resigned after being elected to the US Senate|
|Vacant||March 4, 1883 – March 15, 1883|
|Charles P. Snyder||Democratic||May 15, 1883 – March 4, 1889|
|John D. Alderson||Democratic||March 4, 1889 – March 4, 1895|
|James H. Huling||Republican||March 4, 1895 - March 4, 1897|
|Charles Dorr||Republican||March 4, 1897 - March 4, 1899|
|David E. Johnston||Democratic||March 4, 1899 – March 4, 1901|
|Joseph H. Gaines||Republican||March 4, 1901 - March 4, 1911|
|Adam B. Littlepage||Democratic||March 4, 1911 – March 4, 1913|
|Samuel B. Avis||Republican||March 4, 1913 - March 4, 1915|
|Adam B. Littlepage||Democratic||March 4, 1915 – March 4, 1917||Redistricted to the 6th district|
|Stuart F. Reed||Republican||March 4, 1917 - March 4, 1925|
|John M. Wolverton||Republican||March 4, 1925 - March 4, 1927|
|William S. O'Brien||Democratic||March 4, 1927 – March 4, 1929|
|John M. Wolverton||Republican||March 4, 1929 - March 4, 1931|
|Lynn Hornor||Democratic||March 4, 1931 – September 23, 1933||Died|
|Vacant||September 23, 1933 – November 28, 1933|
|Andrew Edmiston, Jr.||Democratic||November 28, 1933 – January 3, 1943|
|Edward G. Rohrbough||Republican||January 3, 1943 - January 3, 1945|
|Cleveland M. Bailey||Democratic||January 3, 1945 – January 3, 1947|
|Edward G. Rohrbough||Republican||January 3, 1947 - January 3, 1949|
|Cleveland M. Bailey||Democratic||January 3, 1949 – January 3, 1963|
|John M. Slack, Jr.||Democratic||January 3, 1963 – March 17, 1980||Redistricted from the 6th district, Died|
|Vacant||March 17, 1980 – June 30, 1980|
|John G. Hutchinson||Democratic||June 30, 1980 – January 3, 1981|
|Mick Staton||Republican||January 3, 1981 - January 3, 1983|
|Bob Wise||Democratic||January 3, 1983 – January 3, 1993||Redistricted to the 2nd district|
|Nick Rahall||Democratic||January 3, 1993 – Present||Redistricted from the 4th district, Incumbent|
- "Partisan Voting Index Districts of the 113th Congress: 2004 & 2008". The Cook Political Report. 2012. Retrieved 2013-01-10.
- West Virginia Blue Book (pp 538, 2012 edition)
- Martis, Kenneth C. (1989). The Historical Atlas of Political Parties in the United States Congress. New York: Macmillan Publishing Company.
- Martis, Kenneth C. (1982). The Historical Atlas of United States Congressional Districts. New York: Macmillan Publishing Company.
- Congressional Biographical Directory of the United States 1774–present