The McKinley/Mooney battle begins
West Virginia’s congressional redistricting has been completed and the results will pit District 1’s current congressman, David McKinley, against District 2’s Alex Mooney. I would think that we will be seeing and hearing from both of them right up until the primary next spring. Both were on WV Metro News this week. Here are my reactions.
McKinley was interviewed by Hoppy Kerchival on WV Metro News earlier today and his responses suggested some of what may be his campaign's theme.
McKinley stressed early on (three times, to be precise) that “we get things done.” He used as his example, Governor Justice’s broadband initiatives. (Of course, as noted below, most of that plan is funded by the federal government including money from the American Rescue Plan which neither he nor Mooney voted for.) Additionally, McKinley stressed “I’m from West Virginia” and a 7th generation West Virginian probably to call attention to Mooney’s relatively recent move from Maryland in order to run in West Virginia.
Kercheval did press* McKinley on term limits – something that McKinley had pledged that he would work for when he was first elected in 2010. Kercheval noted that McKinley had also said that he would only serve two terms. (He’ll be running for his 7th in 2022.) McKinley replied that “I believe in term limits” and then suggested why it shouldn’t apply to him -- he may head the committee on the environment if the Republicans win control of the House. This, apparently, was an adequate response; Kercheval moved on. Here’s partial coverage of the interview:
The new congressional map is split from east to west with Congressmen @RepMcKinley and Alex Mooney in the same district. McKinley talks about his matchup against Mooney to @HoppyKercheval. WATCH: https://t.co/yCFQ3nDJuy pic.twitter.com/rRCj8VzWMZ— MetroNews (@WVMetroNews) October 20, 2021
WV District 2’s current congressman, Alex Mooney, was on with Kercheval on Monday and he used his time to stake out that he was the more conservative of the two. His support of all-things-Trump was clear. As opposed to McKinley who voted for the commission to investigate January 6, Mooney called the commission a “witchhunt.” When pressed about his expense account problems, he wrote it off as merely serving his constituents and he promised that he’ll “answer it all.” Here’s Metro’s coverage:
West Virginia 2nd District Congressman @RepAlexMooney talks with @HoppyKercheval about running against David McKinley in next year’s Primary Election. WATCH: https://t.co/wkudfIRZCB pic.twitter.com/1sgt5Q1FTr— MetroNews (@WVMetroNews) October 18, 2021
WV Republicans have no shame
From Mountain State Spotlight's Douglas Soule, earlier today:
When Gov. Jim Justice announced his billion-dollar broadband expansion plan on Friday, West Virginia’s congressional delegation was quick to applaud it.
“I congratulate Governor Justice on this announcement, which will help us continue our work together to better connect West Virginia,” U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito said.
U.S. Rep. Alex Mooney called the governor’s plan a “monumental step in expanding the reach of high-speed internet to students, small businesses and all West Virginians,” and U.S. Rep. Carol Miller said the investment was historic and would “bring more connectivity, commerce and opportunity to our state.”
U.S. Rep. David McKinley congratulated Justice on his “aggressive” behavior on putting the plan together and called it a “home run.”
But, West Virginia’s Republicans in Congress all voted against the federal stimulus spending that makes up a big chunk of the broadband initiative: the American Rescue Plan.
What a surprise: WV Republicans vote against something and then later take credit for the results.
Finally, while researching McKinley, I came across this:
Rep. David McKinley (R-WV), offering a nuclear energy amendment to the budget bill: "More people died on a bridge in Chappaquiddick." pic.twitter.com/ExOghfASGY— Michael McAuliff (@mmcauliff) September 14, 2021
Mighty tacky, sir. (Chappaquiddick happened 52 years ago. Would most people even understand the refererence?)
*Senator Shelley Moore Capito was also on with Kercheval today. Predictably, and in contrast to the tougher questions asked of McKinley and Mooney, Capito got her usual softballs.