Endorsed by former President Donald Trump, Rep. Alex Mooney, R-W.Va., is Decision Desk HQ’s winner over Rep. David McKinley, R-W.Va., by 54%-36% with 88% of the vote in for a hotly contested West Virginia House GOP primary Tuesday night.
The unusual West Virginia race pitted two incumbent Republican members of Congress against each other, but only one had Trump’s endorsement, while the other supported President Joe Biden’s infrastructure deal.
Decision Desk HQ called the race at 8:42 p.m. ET.
“Donald Trump loves West Virginia, and West Virginia loves Donald Trump,” Mooney said in his victory speech.
Also, incumbent Rep. Carol Miller, R-W.Va., easily won the Republican nomination in the West Virginia’s 1st District on Tuesday, defeating four little-known candidates and setting herself on a clear path to reelection.
Miller was endorsed by former President Donald Trump. Miller had voted against the creation of a commission to investigate the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol. She also voted against President Joe Biden’s massive infrastructure bill.
The victories run Trump’s 2022 midterm primary record to 57-0 with a big results due in Nebraska later Tuesday night.
Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., also endorsed McKinley.
McKinley was sharply criticized by Trump when he broke with his party as one of 13 Republicans to vote with the Democrats to support Biden’s $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill. Trump called McKinley a RINO, or “Republican in Name Only” and endorsed Mooney the day Biden signed the infrastructure law.
The two incumbents, who have taken dramatically different approaches to their time in office, were pitted against each other in the state’s 2nd Congressional District after population losses cost West Virginia a U.S. House seat.
West Virginia’s election was the first of five primaries in which two incumbent U.S. House members will compete against each other. It will be followed by similar contests in Georgia and Michigan and in two Illinois districts.
The race was expected to be one of the most-watched on the day’s ballot. The primary came on the heels of a victory by Trump-endorsed conservative JD Vance, author of the bestselling memoir “Hillbilly Elegy,” who defeated six other candidates to win the Ohio Republican primary for U.S. Senate last week.
Earlier in the night, Trump-endorsed incumbent Miller breezed to the Republican nomination in West Virginia’s 1st District, defeating four little-known candidates and setting herself on a clear path to reelection.
Miller will vie for her third term in the House in the fall against Democrat Lacy Watson, who was unopposed in the Democratic primary. Watson, of Bluefield, lost in the 2020 Democratic primary in the former 3rd District.
In West Virginia’s 2nd Congressional District, where Mooney secured the Republican nomination, openly gay former Morgantown city councilor Barry Wendell is competing against security operations manager Angela Dwyer in the Democrat primary.
Mooney enters the general election as a heavy favorite to win. West Virginia has not elected a Democrat to Congress since 2008.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.