The conventional wisdom is that former President Donald Trump taints any Republican he’s associated with politically. That has proven again to be all wrong.
Rep. Alex Mooney (R-WV) beat moderate Republican Rep. David McKinley to serve in the state’s second congressional district, Breitbart reported. Trump had endorsed Mooney and denigrated McKinley as a Republican in name only.
“Congressman Alex Mooney is a conservative warrior running in West Virginia’s 2nd Congressional District,” Trump said in a statement, according to Newsmax. “His opponent is a RINO who supported the ‘Unfrastucture Bill’ and the Sham January 6 Unselect Committee,” he said.
“Alex fights for our Veterans, for Energy and Clean Coal, Election Integrity, our Borders, Jobs, and against the horrible drug epidemic,” the former president continued. “On May 10th, Vote for Alex Mooney, who has my Complete and Total Endorsement. I love West Virginia!”
West Virginia lost a Congressional seat after the 2020 census turning this race into a brutal battle between two sitting congressmen. However, McKinley was seen as a sell-out after backing President Joe Biden’s $1.2 Trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.
The bill was pushed as a bipartisan effort, but conservatives hated the bloated pork-filled legislation that McKinley was a major part of allowing to pass. For this reason, the Club for Growth PAC encouraged Mooney’s challenge and saw it as an indication of a move to the right.
“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 group said. “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.”
Trump may have been a divisive figure, but there’s no doubt his legacy is that voters are no longer content to vote for liberal Republicans. Mooney’s win is a win for Trump — and the conservative movement.