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Mooney, McKinley put in same district by new West Virginia map

Mountain State lost one of its three House seats in redistricting

The new West Virginia map puts GOP Reps. David B. McKinley, left, and Alex X. Mooney in the same district.
The new West Virginia map puts GOP Reps. David B. McKinley, left, and Alex X. Mooney in the same district. (Bill Clark and Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photos)

West Virginia Reps. Alex X. Mooney and David B. McKinley will face each other in a Republican primary next year after the state’s Legislature approved a new congressional map Thursday. 

The map, which is headed to Republican Gov. Jim Justice for his signature, puts Mooney and McKinley in the same 2nd District in the northern part of the state, while GOP Rep. Carol Miller was redrawn into the new 1st District. West Virginia is losing one of its three districts to reapportionment after the 2020 census.

Mooney, 50, declared in a statement Thursday that he “will not back down in this fight for the future of America.”  

The fourth-term congressman said the country “needs fighters who will stand toe to toe with the radical left who are attempting to turn America into a socialist nation” and touted his membership in the House Freedom Caucus, his status as the son of a Cuban refugee and his “unwavering” support for former President Donald Trump. 

McKinley, 74, said in a statement on Facebook that he would seek a seventh term next year because “our work is not done.”

“The people of the Second District deserve a Congressman who delivers results, not just rhetoric. They deserve a conservative fighter who is looking out for them, not their own interests,” he said.

His campaign also noted McKinley had a better record of supporting Trump than Mooney, a onetime Maryland state senator and chairman of the Maryland GOP who moved to West Virginia to run for Congress in 2014. According to CQ Vote Watch, McKinley backed Trump’s position on votes 92.3 percent of the time, compared with an 86.9 percent “presidential unity score” for Mooney.

But McKinley starts far behind Mooney in fundraising.

Mooney had almost $2.6 million in his campaign account on Sept. 30, after raising $175,000 during the third quarter, disclosures filed with the Federal Election Commission show. McKinley has not yet filed his third-quarter report, which is due Friday, but his most recent filing showed he had $503,000 in the bank on June 30.

Mooney is currently under investigation by the House Ethics Committee. That inquiry stems from an Office of Congressional Ethics report that found he had spent thousands of campaign dollars on personal expenses, including numerous fast food meals at places such as Chick-fil-A and Taco Bell, and family excursions to West Virginia resorts. Mooney also failed to properly report more than $40,000 in expenditures, the report noted.

Mooney’s deficient campaign reporting concealed additional instances of him converting campaign funds for personal use, according to the OCE report, which was obtained by CQ Roll Call. Mooney paid his campaign back more than $12,000 after the OCE began its inquiry in March.

Chris Marquette contributed to this report.

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