Dem Manchin backs McKinley in West Virginia GOP House race

April 30, 2022 GMT

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Republican Rep. David McKinley of West Virginia has turned to Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin to back him in a campaign ad in his GOP primary against former President Donald Trump’s endorsed pick, Rep. Alex Mooney.

In a McKinley campaign ad, Manchin says the congressman has always opposed “reckless spending because it doesn’t make sense for West Virginia.” The ad comes as McKinley argues that Mooney is misleading voters about McKinley’s vote for President Joe Biden’s $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure law. Mooney voted against it.

“Alex Mooney has proven he’s all about Alex Mooney, but West Virginians know David McKinley is all about us,” Manchin says in the ad.

Mooney has pointed to the Manchin support to repeat his claim that McKinley is a RINO, which stands for “Republican in Name Only.”

The two incumbent Republicans were pitted against each other after population losses cost West Virginia a U.S. House seat.

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McKinley also has the endorsement of Republican Gov. Jim Justice, who called McKinley’s infrastructure vote “brave.”

Trump, meanwhile, endorsed Mooney on the day Biden signed the infrastructure bill into law.

In one ad, Mooney’s attacks McKinley for “backing Biden for a trillion-dollar spending spree,” but mentions infrastructure only in printed text.

In McKinley’s ad, Manchin says messaging from Mooney and his supporters suggests that McKinley also supported Biden’s vast social and environment bill, called “Build Back Better.” McKinley and Mooney both voted against the plan. Manchin has opposed it as well.