While the country waits with bated breath on Tuesday ahead of the possibility that former President Donald Trump could announce his plans for 2024, one Republican lawmaker isn’t wasting any time announcing his intentions.
According to Fox News, Republican West Virginia Rep. Alex Mooney, a Hispanic-American and member of the House Freedom Caucus, laid it all on the line Tuesday, confirming that he’ll spend the next two years attempting to unseat West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin.
“It’s been talked about a lot, but I’m going to announce. I’m announcing it right now that I’m running for the U.S. Senate,” Mooney said Tuesday morning during a radio interview on MetroNews Talkline. “I’m all in.”
Mooney added a subtle criticism of Manchin’s representation of the Mountain State in the Senate, saying, “West Virginia values are at risk in this country. We’re bankrupting America. I want to be a part of the solution there.”
— Rob Pyers (@rpyers) November 15, 2022
Mooney’s announcement leaves Manchin in a rough political spot, as he barely managed to hang on to his Senate seat in his last campaign in 2018, winning by a mere three percent.
Additionally, as Fox News noted, West Virginia has trended toward the red side of the aisle. Add to that a dose of resentment toward Manchin by the bulk of the Democratic Party for derailing what would have been President Joe Biden’s legacy Build Back Better legislation, and Manchin could find himself on a lonely island as the 2024 campaign season approaches.
Manchin managed to save a bit of face with his party after negotiating Build Back Better to what ultimately became the Inflation Reduction Act.
He also presumably managed to score some goodwill with West Virginia Republicans and Independents by killing BBB, which would have eventually all but completely stomped out the fossil fuel industry in a state that relies so heavily on that industry for employment and livelihoods.
Will moderate voters remember what Manchin did? Only time will tell, but one can be assured that Manchin will remind them when 2024 inches closer.
Manchin’s spokesman told Fox News that the senator has no problem with a little healthy competition.
“A robust democratic process has never been more important to our country, and Sen. Manchin encourages every candidate who values public service to enter the race,” spokesman Sam Runyon said.
A moderate thinker almost across the board, Manchin could find himself in another tight spot with West Virginia Republicans as he has already expressed support in codifying Roe v. Wade.
As for Mooney, he’s already firing off torpedoes at his competition’s proverbial bow.
“I think he’s a liberal Democrat, and West Virginia doesn’t deserve that anymore, and it has to be changed,” Mooney said during the same interview, according to the Daily Caller.
Mooney also took a few jabs at Manchin just before the 2022 midterms.
“No one believes Joe Manchin anymore. His words are sad attempts to cover his efforts to empower Joe Biden’s liberal agenda,” Mooney tweeted.
No one believes Joe Manchin anymore. His words are sad attempts to cover his efforts to empower Joe Biden’s liberal agenda.
— Rep. Alex Mooney (@RepAlexMooney) November 5, 2022
Mooney has served in the House since 2015. He was endorsed by former President Donald Trump earlier this year ahead of his campaign, the Associated Press reported.
With the Biden administration’s war on fossil fuels, especially West Virginia staples like coal and oil, voters will likely become increasingly weary of taking a chance on someone — even a moderate like Manchin — who embraces dangerous progressive ideas like the Green New Deal, and that will undoubtedly give Mooney a massive advantage.
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