Politics

New West Virginia House Map Sets Up Primary Fight Between Two GOP Incumbents

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Michael Ginsberg Congressional Reporter
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A congressional map approved by the West Virginia state legislature Thursday will likely lead to a primary battle between incumbent Republican Reps. Alex Mooney and David McKinley.

West Virginia lost one of its three seats following the 2020 census, and the new map approved by the state legislature creates a north district and a south district. Mooney immediately declared his candidacy in the northern district, West Virginia’s Second, and McKinley is expected to do so shortly. Republican Rep. Carol Miller will not face an incumbent primary challenger in West Virginia’s new First District, which covers the southern half of the state.

“I am excited to be running for re-election in the new First District of West Virginia,” Mooney said in a statement. “Our nation now more than ever needs fighters who stand toe-to-toe with the radical left who are attempting to turn America into a socialist nation.”

Mooney was first elected to Congress in 2015, while McKinley has held office since 2011.

McKinley had lobbied the state legislature to create an east-west split of the state, Politico reported. His current district, West Virginia’s old First, included the state’s northern panhandle, where McKinley lives. Mooney’s current district, West Virginia’s old Second, cut across the central portion of the state and included its eastern panhandle. (RELATED: An Inside Look At The Behind The Scenes Fight To Set The 2022 Election)

McKinley argued that the two fastest-growing parts of the state, Morgantown and the eastern panhandle, should be split up. That plan would have pitted Mooney and Miller against each other, giving McKinley a safe seat and no incumbent challenger.

“When we go from three to two, no matter how you split the pie, somebody’s gonna be unhappy, probably,” Republican state Del. Steve Westfall said.