Candidate Bitten by Snakes While Taking Down Signs

West Virginia candidate Doug Skaff says it was worse than losing the election
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 17, 2024 5:06 AM CDT
Updated May 19, 2024 11:20 AM CDT
Candidate Says Snake Bites Worse Than Losing Election
Stock photo of a copperhead snake.   (Getty Images/LWO Photography)

Former West Virginia House of Delegates member Doug Skaff lost the Republican primary for secretary of state on Tuesday—but that wasn't the worst thing to happen to him this week. The 47-year-old was bitten by two copperhead snakes while he was taking down campaign signs with his 7-year-son in Danville on Wednesday. Skaff tells MetroNews that he initially thought he had stepped on something sharp. "I look down and there are two copperhead snakes," he says. "There was a baby snake and a bigger snake. I may have stepped on a nest or something." Skaff says he's thankful that his son wasn't harmed. After the bites, "some great people from Boone County pulled up, helped me out and called 911," he says.

He was hospitalized with snake bites to the small toe of his right foot and the calf of his left leg and remained in the hospital on Thursday. "It hurts more than I've had anything hurt me in my life," says Skaff, a former Democratic minority leader in the House of Delegates who resigned and switched parties to run for secretary of state. Asked by WSAZ which was worse, losing the election or being bitten by snakes, he said: "Snake bites. Elections come and go, but I wouldn't wish this on anybody. It was scary. It hurt. When I saw that venom going through my body like that, and feeling that sensation." (More West Virginia stories.)

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