(Mark Pellin, Headline USA) Running on a platform of staunch conservatism and a strong pro-liberty message, Rep. Alex Mooney on Tuesday cruised to a win in West Virginia’s Republican primary, beating Rep. David McKinley by a margin of 54.2. to 35.6 in what was widely regarded as a bellwether for key primaries looming in Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Georgia.
The West Virginia race presented a perfect showdown highlighting the differences between Mooney, a consistent conservative, and McKinley, who voted to support President Joe Biden’s trillion-dollar infrastructure scheme, rejected any claims of fraud in the 2020 election and voted for the J6 Inquisition.
“The voters of West Virginia spoke loud and clear tonight,” Mooney told supporters, and also thanked Trump for the endorsement, Fox News reported.
“When Donald Trump puts his mind to something, you better watch out,” Mooney said.
Trump responded enthusiastically to Mooney’s win, posting on Truth Social, “I Love West Virginia. Congratulations to Alex Mooney on his BIG WIN!!!”
The West Virginia primary pitted two incumbent Republicans against each other when the state was redistricted.
In addition to being an indicator of what might unfold in upcoming Republican primaries, the impressive Mooney win was also a possible portend of a future tilt with Sen. Joe Manchin in his 2024 re-election race.
The West Virginia Democrat meddled in the Republican primary when he came out swinging for McKinley, cutting an ad spot that ripped Mooney.
Mooney didn’t let the Democrat spoiling for a RINO win off the hook.
“Joe Manchin has now opposed me two times and lost,” Mooney told Headline USA.
“Maybe we should make it 3-0,” he said.
It is unclear whether Manchin—who has found himself in political purgatory after thwarting Democrats in their efforts to abolish the filibuster—may attempt to switch parties before his next campaign, setting up another primary showdown with Mooney.
Victory came early for Mooney, with most media outlets calling the race with 20% of precincts reporting.
I’ve seen enough. Trump-endorsed Rep. Alex Mooney (R) defeats Rep. David McKinley (R) in the #WV02 GOP primary.
— Dave Wasserman (@Redistrict) May 11, 2022
The Club for Growth PAC, which has given Mooney an 87% lifetime rating on its congressional scorecard, said Tuesday’s results showed that “Republicans want conservatives, not RINOs, as their lawmakers,” according to Breitbart.
“The result of this bellwether race is a clear sign that Republicans want their Members of Congress to be real conservatives as opposed to moderate RINOS,” Club for Growth PAC President David McIntosh said in a statement.
“The people of West Virginia understand Congress needs to stop Biden’s radical socialist agenda, and Mooney is the only candidate who has a record of standing up to liberals in Washington,” McIntosh said.