December 2, 2023
The Trump-endorsed Rep. Alex Mooney (R-WV) defeated Rep. David McKinley in the contentious battle for West Virginia's second congressional district.

The Trump-endorsed Rep. Alex Mooney (R-WV) defeated Rep. David McKinley in the contentious battle for West Virginia’s second congressional district.

The West Virginia primary tested the political will of the Republican Party base. After the 2020 census, the state lost one congressional district, forcing a primary battle between McKinely from the first congressional district and Mooney from the second congressional district.

This has forced a contentious battle between the more “RINO”-leaning McKinely and the Trump-backed Mooney.

“Congressman Alex Mooney is a conservative warrior running in West Virginia’s 2nd Congressional District. His opponent is a RINO who supported the ‘Unfrastucture Bill’ and the Sham January 6 Unselect Committee,” Trump said in a statement.

Trump added, “Alex fights for our Veterans, for Energy and Clean Coal, Election Integrity, our Borders, Jobs, and against the horrible drug epidemic. On May 10th, Vote for Alex Mooney, who has my Complete and Total Endorsement. I love West Virginia!”

McKinley has earned the ire of conservatives for voting for the $1.2 trillion so-called bipartisan infrastructure bill, otherwise known as the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. McKinley’s vote for the infrastructure bill, which was vital to it passing through the House, led to the Club for Growth PAC endorsing Mooney to primary McKinley.

Club for Growth PAC President David McIntosh said in a statement on Tuesday that Mooney’s victory serves as a sign that Republicans want conservatives, not RINOs, as their lawmakers. Club for Growth PAC President David McIntosh said:

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. 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.

The Club noted that Mooney has an 87 percent lifetime rating on the Club for Growth Foundation congressional scorecard, while McKinley only has 51 percent.

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), a champion of the $1.2 trillion spending bill, put out an ad to defend McKinley’s vote for the bipartisan infrastructure bill:

[embedded content]

In contrast to McKinley, Mooney has called the $1.2 trillion legislation a “bill no conservative would support.”

Sean Moran is a congressional reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SeanMoran3.