CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Kanawha County Commissioner Kent Carper has filed to seek re-election.

Carper told MetroNews on Thursday that after having talks with family and friends, he decided to run again.

“I talked to my wife, I talked to my kids, I talked to my friends and got more phone calls than I can count,” Carper said.

Kent Carper

Carper said his experience on the commission and the work done by him and commissioners Ben Salango and newly-appointed commission president Lance Wheeler, also helped him in his decision.

“We still have projects and many issues for which I believe my experience is needed,” Carper said. “I have dedicated my life to public service. I feel privileged to be allowed to be your county commissioner, and with your help and support, I will continue to do so.”

Carper will look to serve another six-year term as commissioner. He has been a Kanawha County commissioner since 1996, with a majority of those years serving as commission president.

“The privilege of serving the people of Kanawha County is my number one achievement,” said Carper.

Prior to serving on the commission, Carper spent time as an assistant Kanawha County prosecutor, director of public safety and police chief for the City of Charleston. He was also an attorney for the West Virginia Department of Highways and the state Auditor’s Office.

Carper will have a challenger for his seat. Local real estate developer and realtor Dewayne Duncan announced earlier this week that he would run as a Republican for a seat on the Kanawha County Commission. Duncan is also a former West Virginia Department of Education administrator.

According to a post from his Facebook page, former state Senator Chris Walters has also officially filed to run for Kanawha County Commission, doing so as a Republican. Walters filed candidate papers on Wednesday.

There’s still an investigation ongoing into Carper over an alleged lewd incident at Daniel Boone Park in Charleston from in mid-May 2023. No charges have been filed against Carper. He the voters will end up deciding who ends up on the commission.

“Why don’t we just let the people decide and leave it there,” he said. “It’s not my seat, it belong to the people.”