Natalie Tennant Biography
Natalie Tennant (Natalie E. Tennant) is an American politician who served as the Secretary of State of West Virginia from 2009 to 2017. She is well known as a member of the Democratic Party. Tennant was the 2014 Democratic Party nominee for West Virginia’s open U.S. Senate seat, she lost to Republican Shelley Moore Capito.
In 2016 she was defeated for re-election by Republican Andrew ‘Mac’ Warner and left office on January 16, 2017.
Natalie Tennant Age
She was born on December 25th, 1967 in Fairmont, West Virginia, U.S. She is 51 years old as of 2018.
Natalie Tennant Family | Young
Tennant was raised up on a farm in Fairview, Marion County, West Virginia and is the daughter of Rose Mary and John D. Tennant, Jr. Her mother was of Italian descent. Tennant is a 1986 graduate of North Marion High School in Farmington, West Virginia.
Natalie Tennant Married
She is married to a Democratic State Senator Erik Wells. Tennant and Wells have one daughter, Delaney, and reside in Charleston.
Natalie Tennant Education
She got enrolled and later 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 the completion of her undergraduate degree in 1991, Tennant began her career in television broadcasting and reporting. She remained active in the WVU community, receiving the WVU Alumni Association’s Margaret Buchanan Cole Young Alumni Award in 1997.
Natalie Tennant Career
In 2004, Tennant ran unsuccessfully for West Virginia Secretary of State, losing the Democratic primary to Ken Hechler by 1,108 votes. In 2008, Tennant was elected secretary of state, beating out Republican candidate Charles Minimah with 65% of the vote. During her campaign, she was supported by the Secretary of State Project, a 527 political action committee that supports progressive candidates for secretary of state positions in swing states.
Tennant took office as the Secretary of State of West Virginia on January 19, 2009. In 2010, Tennant initiated a pilot online voting program that allowed 179 deployed West Virginian service members to vote via the Internet. In 2012, the Secretary of State’s office issued a Republican primary ballot, which told voters to select 18 at-large delegates to the Republican National Convention when 19 were to be chosen. The error cost West Virginia $148,705 to reprint the ballots and another $64,000 to reprogram the digital voting machines.
Tennant, along with U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin, led the investigation of the Lincoln County 2010 Democratic primary, in which a large number of absentee ballots were cast in favor of a certain faction of the Democratic party. In early 2012, as a result of the investigation, Lincoln County Sheriff Jerry Bowman and Lincoln County Clerk Donald Whitten pleaded guilty to felony charges. Bowman, Whitten, and Tennant were all elected Democratic officials. In 2013, Tennant returned $3 million in unused revenue to the state legislature after Tennant’s department enacted cost-saving measures and settled two lawsuits for significantly less money than expected.
In 2013, the Secretary of State’s office was late sending out change-of-address materials to election officials, which are sent out every two years to keep election rolls accurate. According to the Harrison County Clerk’s office, the materials should have arrived at the end of 2013 to give officials time to send them out before the primary election in May 2014, but some county clerks did not receive the materials until April 2014 or later.
In 2014, a number of West Virginian political candidates were unable to file their campaign finance reports on the Secretary of State’s website due to issues with the online campaign finance reporting system. Tennant said, “The company that was hired to update the campaign finance reporting system has not met the standards of my office, has not met the standards of the contract or what West Virginians deserve…They are being held accountable. On January 7, 2016, the Secretary of State’s office opened a second location in Fairmont.
On January 20, 2011, Tennant announced she was running for the Democratic nomination for Governor of West Virginia in the 2011 special gubernatorial election. Tennant focused her campaign on openness and accountability, which she said had been a hallmark of her tenure as Secretary of State.
Public polling conducted in January 2011 showed Tennant to be a front runner in the Democratic primary, alongside acting governor Earl Ray Tomblin. She lost the primary election to acting governor Earl Ray Tomblin, coming in third place behind state house speaker Rick Thompson.
Tennant ran for the Senate in 2014. The seat was open after incumbent Democrat Jay Rockefeller announced his retirement. Tennant lost to Republican Representative Shelley Moore Capito in the general election, losing every county in the state. The 34.5 percent won by Tennant was the lowest ever by a Democratic nominee across the 38 U.S. Senate races in West Virginia history.
Tennant did not face any significant primary opposition. She entered the race after ten prominent Democrats declined to run. 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 was endorsed by Senator Rockefeller, Senator Joe Manchin, and Governor Earl Ray Tomblin. She was also endorsed by First Lady Michelle Obama, North Dakota Senator Heidi Heitkamp, and Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, who hosted a fundraiser for Tennant. According to Politico and The New York Times, Tennant sought to distance herself from President Obama. Tennant was an Obama delegate at the 2012 Democratic National Convention.
Natalie Tennant Net Worth
Natalie estimated net worth is under review, there is no information about her net worth or salary but he is said to have been earning a huge salary from his work.