(Mark Pellin, Headline USA) With a focus on protecting West Virginia citizens and businesses from egregious federal government overreach, Republican U.S. Rep. Alex Mooney, the state’s popular, five-term incumbent has never set his sights on small targets.
Now, Mooney is ready to tackle what could be one of his biggest political battles to date after announcing that he is challenging Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., in the 2024 election to help the GOP flip a pivotal U.S. Senate seat. It could be one of several key races that ultimately determine majority control of the chamber.
“Unfortunately, the United States Senate is going to stay in Democrats’ hands for the next two years,” Mooney told Headline USA in a recent email. “If Republicans are going to retake the U.S. Senate, it is going to start with West Virginia. We must turn the United States Senate Republican for the sake of this country.”
As a House Freedom Caucus member, Mooney has a track record that has consistently received high marks from West Virginia voters. Most recently, those conservative bonafides helped him topple establishment Republican Rep. David McKinley in a contentious May primary for the state’s redrawn 2nd Congressional district. Mooney moved on to clobber Democrat Barry Wendell by a 31% margin in the midterm.
The tilt against McKinley proved an early test for how an unabashed pro-liberty, America First Republican, who was endorsed by former President Donald Trump and backed by the influential Club for Growth, could fare in West Virginia’s political climate. Mooney said that same voter sentiment would help him beat Manchin.
“Joe Manchin is President Biden’s chief enabler,” Mooney said of the Democrat, who is often disingenuously portrayed as a centrist by a regime-friendly media.
As evidence of his likely opponent’s partisan leanings for big government over West Virginia needs, Mooney cited Manchin’s support for the so-called Inflation Reduction Act, Biden’s “massive $433 billion spending bill.”
He said Manchin “was instrumental in jamming through Congress” and that the massive spending bill “only exacerbated the federal government’s spending addiction.”
Manchin, at 75, hasn’t said whether he will run for his fourth Senate term in 2024, but Mooney made clear that West Virginia—and the country—were ready for change.
“Senator Manchin has played a key role in supporting the president’s failed policies such as record-high inflation and threats to the coal industry, which is the backbone of West Virginia,” said Mooney.
He also ripped Manchin as a swamp dweller who “always has been and always will be a loyal partisan Democrat.
“He twice voted to impeach President Donald Trump in my state of West Virginia, which gave Trump his second highest vote margin of any state in the country,” Mooney said. “The voters in West Virginia are poised to remove Manchin from office in two years.”