U.S. Rep. Evan Jenkins To Run For U.S. Senate in West Virginia


WHEELING — U.S. Rep. Evan Jenkins says his mantra is “a good job solves a lot of problems,” and now he wants to work to bring jobs to West Virginia and the nation as a member of the U.S. Senate.

Jenkins, R-W.Va., announced Monday he would enter the Republican primary next year and seek the Senate seat presently occupied by Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va.

“I want to stand up for West Virginia values,” he said.

“Joe Manchin is betraying West Virginia. He campaigned hard for both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. The last eight years under Obama were devastating to the state, and with Clinton it would have been more of the same.

“I feel strongly about upholding our constitutional rights. I feel strongly in my faith, and in my position as being pro-life.”

Jenkins said he wants to work with President Donald Trump to get West Virginia and the country “moving again,” and “reverse the job-killing regulations from the Obama era.”

Jenkins said he and the rest of West Virginia’s delegation in the House, Republican Reps. David McKinley and Alex Mooney, took the lead in urging Trump to eliminate the Clean Power Plan regulations implemented by the Obama administration’s Environmental Protection Agency.

“Now we need to work on not only supporting coal but investing in our state,” he said.

Jenkins is in his second term representing West Virginia’s 3rd District in the House of Representatives, but he said he doesn’t want to become part of Washington’s establishment.

“I’ve been in Washington just over two years now, but I’m not there to get settled in,” he said. “I sleep on a $90 cot from Ollie’s Discount in my office. I’m not in D.C. to get settled in, but to get something done.”

A resident of Huntington, Jenkins first served in the West Virginia House of Delegates from 1995 to 2001. In 2002, he was elected to the West Virginia Senate, where he served until being sworn in to the House of Representatives in 2015.

During most of his time in the West Virginia Legislature, Jenkins served as a Democrat. He switched to the Republican Party in 2013 as he planned a successful challenge to former U.S. Rep. Nick Rahall, D-W.Va., in 2014.

Jenkins has a bachelor of science in business administration from the University of Florida, and is a graduate of the Cumberland School of Law at Samford University in Birmingham, Ala. He previously served as the executive director of the West Virginia State Medical Association, and taught business law at Marshall University.

Jenkins and his wife, Elizabeth, have three children. The oldest of them, Evan Jenkins Jr., better known as “Hollin,” is a U.S. Marine.

Those organizing Manchin’s campaign for next year indicated Monday they would not back away from any political challenger.

“Senator Manchin has always been an independent fighter for West Virginia, willing to take on either party to do what is right for his state,” said Jefrey Pollock, spokesman for the Manchin campaign. “He looks forward to seeing the results of the GOP primary, and having the voters review his clear record of delivering results for the people of West Virginia.”