McKinley, Mooney, Miller React To New Congressional Map
CHARLESTON — While some technicalities remain, the West Virginia Legislature has agreed on a new congressional map, with all three members of the state’s delegation in the U.S. House of Representatives intending to run for re-election.
The House of Delegates passed Senate Bill 3033 on Thursday, relating to the composition of congressional districts in West Virginia.
The vote was 84-12, though the House will have to vote again today to make the bill effective from passage before it goes to Gov. Jim Justice for his signature.
The House vote came one day after the state Senate voted 30-2 Wednesday in favor of the bill, after amending it with a map based on one adopted by the House Redistricting Committee on Tuesday.
West Virginia has had three congressional districts since 1992, but after the 2020 Census, West Virginia’s population dropped to 1,793,716 and resulted in the loss of one of the congressional districts.
SB 3033 divides the state into a southern and a northern congressional district and renumbers the districts. The new 1st Congressional District includes counties south of Wood, Ritchie, Doddridge, Lewis, Upshur, Randolph, Grant, and Hardy counties.
The only currently serving member of Congress in this new district is Republican Carol Miller who represents the 3rd Congressional District currently. Miller resides in Cabell County and is in her second term.
“As a business owner, bison farmer, mother, and grandmother, I understand the challenges West Virginia families face,” Miller said in a statement Thursday. “I look forward to continuing to work to bring more opportunity, investment, and good-paying jobs to the Mountain State.”
The new 2nd Congressional District includes everything north of Jackson, Wirt, Calhoun, Gilmer, Braxton, Webster, Pocahontas, and Pendleton counties.
The new district includes both the Northern and Eastern panhandles and combines most of current Wheeling Republican David McKinley’s 1st Congressional District with parts of Charles Town Republican Alex Mooney’s 2nd Congressional District.
Ohio County resident McKinley, a Republican now in his sixth term representing the current 1st Congressional District, announced his intentions to seek election to the new 2nd District in a statement Thursday.
“From serving in Congress and the West Virginia Legislature to building the Republican Party as Chairman of the WVGOP to growing a business from scratch, creating thousands of jobs and investing in our community — I’ve always put West Virginia first,” McKinley said.
“Our work is not done. That’s why I will be running in the new (Second) District.”
Jefferson County resident Mooney, a Republican in his fourth term representing the current 2nd Congressional District, also announced his intentions to seek re-election to the new 2nd District.
“I applaud the West Virginia Legislature on their hard work and for drawing fair lines under challenging circumstances,” Mooney said. “I am excited to be running for re-election in the new (Second) District of West Virginia…I look forward to continuing to fight for our shared conservative values.”
Both McKinley and Mooney will have to face each other in the 2022 Republican primary in order to seek the new 2nd District seat. Both congressmen represent the fastest growing regions of the state, with Mooney representing the Eastern Panhandle and McKinley representing the Morgantown/Monongalia County area.
The congressional map approved by state lawmakers takes nine out of 17 of the counties in Mooney’s current district away while keeping all but one of the 20 counties in McKinley’s 1st District. However, Mooney has a larger campaign war chest. According to the Federal Elections Commission, Mooney has $2.8 million in cash on hand compared to McKinley’s $502,774 in cash on hand. Both appeared to take veiled swipes at each other Thursday.
“The people of the (Second) District deserve a Congressman who delivers results, not just rhetoric,” McKinley said. “They deserve a conservative fighter who is looking out for them, not their own interests.”
“Our nation now more than ever needs fighters who will stand toe to toe with the radical left who are attempting to turn America into a socialist nation,” Mooney said. “… I will not back down in this fight for the future.”