Not much to go with here. Search engines suggest that the news coverage of Mooney is still primarily focused on the possible ethics violations connected with his campaign expenditures. Mooney's twitter account doesn’t help much either: six of his first ten posts are about rugby. (At one time, Mooney apparently played the sport.)
He is going to need some issues -- Mooney may be Trumpier than McKinley but that may not be enough.
David McKinley on Metro News
We’ve been reading, seeing, and hearing a lot more from David McKinley now that redistricting has forced him into a battle with Alex Mooney. For the second time in a week, the local congressman was on Hoppy Kercheval’s Metro News talk show. Yesterday, McKinley took credit for an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act, criticized Democrats and “socialists” for trying to do something about climate change, and then argued that negotiations shouldn’t be “behind closed doors.” Kercheval, to his credit, pushed back on “secret negotiations” by noting that Republicans did the same thing when they were in power. Unfortunately, McKinley dodged the question in his reply and they both moved on.
Given that it was the first topic of discussion, my hunch is that McKinley suggested to Kercheval that he wanted to talk about his push for a strategic national stockpile. That, or Kercheval remembered a recent article on the front page of the Morgantown Dominion-Post:
The headline, however, is incorrect: McKinley was not the sponsor; Elissa Slotkin (D-Michigan) was. McKinley, along with 15 other House members were co-sponsors. Please note that there is a huge difference between sponsoring and co-sponsoring a piece of legislation. There is only one sponsor, and he/she does the work. The co-sponsors need only sign-on and there is no limit to the number of representatives who may co-sponsor a bill. The headline gives McKinley credit; but like the other co-sponsors, he probably deserves little (if any) credit for the bill’s passage.
A few years back, a former congressional staffer, Anthony Clark, wrote about co-sponsorship in Salon:
D.C.'s favorite time-wasting scam: Co-sponsoring bills
In the article, Clark discussed the supposed importance of co-sponsorship. Here is his conclusion:
. . . . despite the inordinate attention given to rounding up co-sponsors, bragging about co-sponsors and arguing about co-sponsors, it turns out that co-sponsoring bills in Congress doesn’t matter. At least not legislatively.
My review of recent Congresses demonstrates that co-sponsorship is not a reliable indicator of a bill’s legislative success. While there may be non-legislative (read: political) reasons for co-sponsoring legislation, the effort spent on adding names to a bill in order to get it passed into law is wasted.
So far this year, McKinley has signed on as a co-sponsor on 296 bills. (Yes, 296 bills co-sponsored in less than 10 months.) I believe McKinley does this for two political reasons: West Virginia media doesn’t know or doesn’t care that co-sponsoring is not the same thing as sponsoring and it makes McKinley look good. Additionally, co-sponsoring legislation boosts McKinley’s annual Lugar bipartisanship ranking which he and Ogden “newspapers” can then highlight when they are announced. McKinley does little, risks nothing, and wins both ways.