Trump-backed Mooney wins GOP House primary in West Virginia: AP

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Representative Alex Mooney is projected by the Associated Press as the winner of the GOP congressional primary in West Virginia’s 2nd District in a battle with fellow Republican David McKinley.

And while former President Donald Trump was not on the ballot, his prestige in the GOP was very much on the line in a bitter competition between two incumbent lawmakers because Trump had endorsed Mooney.

“I love West Virginia. Congratulations to Alex Mooney on his BIG VICTORY!!!” Trump wrote on his social media platform, Truth Social.

West Virginia lost a congressional seat in the once-a-decade congressional redistribution, and Mooney and McKinley were swept into the state’s newly refigured 2nd district.

West Virginia lost a congressional seat in the once-a-decade congressional redistribution.

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The race has in part turned into a test of the former president’s status as the Republican Party’s most popular and influential politician, nearly 16 months away from the White House.

During his victory celebration, Mooney told supporters that “voters in West Virginia spoke loud and clear tonight.”

And the congressman thanked Trump for “his endorsement and support of my campaign – when Donald Trump starts thinking about something, you better watch out.”

Representative Alex Mooney of West Virginia arrives at a polling place in Charles Town, West Virginia, to vote in the GOP congressional primary, May 10, 2022 (photo by Jake Karalexis of Fox News)
(Fox News)

Mooney has touted on the campaign trail and in ads that he’s the “only candidate Trump trusts to stand up for our values” and criticizes McKinley as a “RINO” and a “sellout.”

Mooney has repeatedly attacked McKinley for voting in favor of the bipartisan $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill — one of President Biden’s national achievements, which will bring a lot of federal dollars to West Virginia, a State in dire need of infrastructure improvements. And Mooney targets McKinley for supporting the Democratic-controlled House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol by right-wing extremists aimed at disrupting Congress’ certification of the Electoral College’s victory. Biden on Trump.

TRUMP NOT ON THE BULLETIN BUT ON THE LINE IN TUESDAY PRIMARY

Mooney told Fox News on Tuesday morning that Trump’s endorsement was important in the race. “Voters understand that he supported me,” Mooney said. “I think it makes a big difference.”

McKinley, in its latest ad, accused Mooney, who is currently undergoing an ethics investigation, of being “desperate” and of “fraud”.

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“Mooney opposed Trump’s wall four times; opposed Trump’s plan to ban fentanyl from China; opposed Trump’s plan for veterans,” says McKinley spot moderator .

Although the former president did not host a rally for Mooney in West Virginia, he did invite the congressman to speak last Friday at a rally in neighboring Pennsylvania.

DEMOCRATIC SENATOR. MANCHIN CROSSING PARTY LINES TO SUPPORT INCUMBENT GOP HOUSE FACING TRUMP-BACKED RIVAL

McKinley enjoyed the support of Republican Gov. Jim Justice for two terms.

And in an interesting twist, longtime moderate Democratic Senator Joe Manchin, a former two-term governor with universal ID in West Virginia, has crossed party lines to star in a new ad on behalf of McKinley. .

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In the spot, Manchin accuses Mooney of lying about McKinley and accuses “Alex Mooney has proven he’s all about Alex Mooney, but West Virginia knows David McKinley is all about us.”

Fox News’ Jake Karalexis contributed to this report

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