West Virginia candidate hospitalized after being bitten by snakes while removing campaign signs

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — (AP) — A candidate for West Virginia secretary of state said he has been hospitalized for copperhead snake bites sustained while removing election campaign signs.

Doug Skaff said he was bitten in the left leg and the right foot Wednesday near U.S. Route 119 in Danville, news outlets reported.

Skaff told West Virginia radio network MetroNews that passersby called for medical assistance. The South Charleston resident said he expects to be in a hospital in Charleston for a few days.

Skaff ran in the secretary of state's race as a Republican on Tuesday. In unofficial returns, Skaff finished second to Kris Warner.

Skaff resigned his House of Delegates seat from Kanawha County last September after stepping down as the chamber's Democratic leader in August. He announced in October that he was switching to the GOP and running for secretary of state.

Skaff served in the House from 2009 to 2014 and was elected to the chamber again in 2018. He is president of HD Media, which owns the Charleston Gazette-Mail and several other state newspapers.