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Rep. Alex Mooney defeats Rep. David McKinley in intense West Virginia member-on-member primary

Business Insider logo Business Insider 5/11/2022 gpanetta@businessinsider.com (Grace Panetta,Brent D. Griffiths)
GOP Rep. Alex Mooney, left, and Rep. David McKinley, right, are facing off in a member-on-member primary in West Virginia AP Photo/Chris Tilley, File, AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File © AP Photo/Chris Tilley, File, AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File GOP Rep. Alex Mooney, left, and Rep. David McKinley, right, are facing off in a member-on-member primary in West Virginia AP Photo/Chris Tilley, File, AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File
    • West Virginia held congressional primaries on May 10. 
    • GOP Reps. Alex Mooney and Rep. David McKinley, faced off for the same district. 
    • Mooney, who Trump endorsed, is projected to have prevailed. 

Rep. Alex Mooney was forced to square off against fellow Republican Rep. David McKinley after West Virginia lost one of its House seats as a direct result of reapportionment following 2020 US Census. Mooney's win once again demonstrates how crucial former President Donald Trump's backing can be in a Republican primary.

 

The races and the stakes:

Trump threw his support behind Mooney, a Maryland native who was elected to Congress in 2014, over McKinley, an engineer by trade and one of the most vocal champions of the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure Congress passed in 2021. 

On the campaign trail, Mooney hammered McKinley for being one of 13 House Republicans to vote for that bill and one of 35 to vote for a bipartisan commission to investigate the January 6 insurrection, which Republicans ultimately blocked in the US Senate.


Video: Mooney Vs. McKinley: What To Know About West Virginia House Primary (Newsweek)

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McKinley, for his part, was endorsed by Gov. Jim Justice and Sen. Joe Manchin — powerful West Virginia Democrat who played a key role in the infrastructure talks on the Senate side and even cut an ad in support of McKinley.

"I've always said if I can't go home and explain it, I can't vote for it — and that's why I opposed Build Back Better," Manchin said in the ad, referring to Democrats' proposed spending package focused on social spending and climate.

"For Alex Mooney and his out-of-state supporters to suggest that David McKinley supported Build Back Better is an outright lie. David McKinley has always opposed reckless spending because it doesn't make sense for West Virginia," Manchin added.

McKinley himself was been shameless about his infrastructure investment support.

"We have the worst conditions," McKinley told Politico of infrastructure. "Some of the roads and bridges are 50, 70 years old. We have water lines built in 1880. I can't do this. This is not a time to play politics. I'm voting for West Virginia."

Later this year, members of Congress belonging to the same political party will face off in member-on-member primaries in Georgia, Illinois, and Michigan.

In another Republican primary in Illinois, Trump has endorsed Rep. Mary Miller over Rep. Rodney Davis, another member of Congress who voted for the bipartisan January 6 commission. 

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