GOP US House incumbents plan to seek reelection in WVa

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Two incumbent Republicans in the U.S. House whose West Virginia districts merged under a newly minted congressional map announced Thursday that they will run for reelection next year.

Reps. David McKinley and Alex Mooney announced their intentions not long after West Virginia lawmakers gave final approval to the redistricting map. The House of Delegates passed the map 84-12 Thursday with four members absent. The state Senate approved the map Wednesday.

After the 2020 census, West Virginia lost one of its three U.S. House seats. The map combines most of the current districts of McKinley and Mooney, who will meet in the GOP primary in the new northern 2nd District. Republican Rep. Carol Miller will be in the new 1st District.

“Our work is not done,” McKinley said in a statement to supporters. “That’s why I will be running in the new Second District.”

The 2nd District will run from Wood County along the Ohio River to the eastern Panhandle and include the northern Panhandle. The map deviates from the ideal population of 896,858 in each new district by about 1,500 people, placing more residents in the northern district.

Mooney said in a statement he will “look forward to continuing to fight for our shared conservative values.”

Miller’s new district includes the southern part of the state and takes in northcentral Gilmer County from McKinley’s former district. From Mooney’s old district, it grabs the Charleston area and several surrounding counties along with Pendleton County along the Virginia line.

McKinley is in his sixth term and Mooney his fourth. McKinley, 74, founded a Wheeling architectural and engineering firm and is a former state GOP chairman and longtime member a seventh-generation West Virginian. Mooney, 50, is a former Maryland state senator and Maryland Republican Party chairman who moved about 25 miles (40 kilometers) in 2013 from Frederick, Maryland, to Charles Town, West Virginia.

Miller, a 70-year-old Huntington resident, also announced on Twitter Thursday that she will seek a third term. She previously served in the House of Delegates for 12 years and is the daughter of the late Ohio U.S. Rep. Samuel Devine.

On May 19, 2021, McKinley was one of 35 Republicans who joined all Democrats in voting to support an independent commission on the deadly Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. Mooney and Miller voted against the legislation, which was later blocked by Republicans in the U.S. Senate.

The House later approved its own 13-member special committee to probe the violent attack. McKinley, Miller and Mooney voted against the committee’s formation.

In other action, the Senate postponed a third reading of its 17-district redistricting bill until Friday. The Senate also must take up the House’s redistricting map. The House passed a new single-member district system for all 100 delegates on Wednesday, a change mandated by 2018 legislation. Currently, there are 67 districts and more than half of the House is elected from multiple-member districts.