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June 23, 2014

Sen. Warren to campaign for Tennant in W.Va.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren will campaign for Natalie Tennant in West Virginia next month in a push to keep a Democratic Senate seat.

Warren will accompany Tennant in the Eastern Panhandle on July 14 as she rolls out an education agenda. Tennant's campaign provided trip details to The Associated Press.

A Massachusetts Democrat, Warren has been called a progressive star and potential presidential candidate for 2016, though she says she won't run.

Recently, Warren led a charge to refinance some student loans by setting minimum tax rates on people making more than $1 million. Senate Republicans blocked the measure, which Democrats have focused on as a pocketbook issue.

Warren is hardly an exact match for Appalachia. Both Republicans and Democrats, including Tennant, largely oppose President Barack Obama's plans to limit carbon emissions from the coal industry. Warren has supported them.

Tennant is West Virginia's Secretary of State. The Democrat and Republican U.S. Rep. Shelley Moore Capito are competing for retiring Democratic Sen. Jay Rockefeller's seat. Capito is favored and holds nearly a 4-to-1 cash advantage.

On Monday, Capito's campaign painted Tennant as flimsy on coal for aligning with Warren.

"Bringing in one of the staunchest opponents of coal and West Virginia's way of life is just the latest instance of Natalie Tennant's blatant hypocrisy and disrespect for the people of this state," Capito spokeswoman Amy Graham said in an email.

Warren responded that she and Tennant don't agree on everything. The Democrats both think Capito is too closely aligned with large financial institutions.

"Wall Street already has enough Senators looking to advance its interests, and West Virginia deserves a Senator like Natalie who will wake up every morning and go to bed every night focused on how to fight for working families," Warren said in an emailed statement.

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