Secretary of State Candidate Hospitalized

( – Snake bites can be very painful. Some species — like copperheads and rattlesnakes — are venomous and when they bite and they can be deadly. One West Virginia secretary of state candidate recently got bit by not one, but two copperheads. He’s now recovering from the ordeal.

Doug Skaff was out removing campaign signs on Wednesday, May 15, when he said he stepped on something, not knowing at the time what it was. He then “felt like something sharp” which turned out to be a snake bite. The first one caught him on the right foot. The second bite was in his left calf. He said the pain caused him to look down, where he saw two copperhead snakes — one full-grown and one baby. He suggested that he might have stepped on a nest, triggering the response.

Referring to the bites, Skaff said, “It hurt more than anything in my life.” He spoke with MetroNews on Thursday, saying his calf was full of venom, extremely swollen, and painful, describing it as a “throbbing” feeling. He was scheduled to go through another round of antivenom in the intensive care unit that day. Previous attempts had been unsuccessful.

Skaff said he was thankful that there were people nearby who heard what happened and rushed to help him. Skaff’s 7-year-old son was with him while collecting signs, but it’s not clear if he was near the nest when the candidate was bitten. The young boy was not injured.

The politician lost to Kris Warner in Tuesday’s election. He previously served in the House of Delegates in Kanawha County as its Democratic leader. However, he stepped down in August and then switched parties in October, running for Secretary of State as a Republican. He also serves as president of HD Media, which owns several state publications.

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