Redistricting, which has led to the loss of a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives for West Virginia, has led to a bitter fight among Republicans over which GOP incumbent should return to Washington and who will stay home reports CNN.
And, as is the case in many GOP primaries across the country, Donald Trump's influence is at the center of the fight as the two candidates engage in attacks that CNN's Dan Merica and Jeff Simon have labeled "vicious."
According to the report, Republican Reps. Alex Mooney and David McKinley, are flinging accusations at each other with Mooney using his endorsement by the former president as a cudgel against his Republican colleague.
According to CNN, "The latest round of redistricting and West Virginia’s shrinking population left the state with one fewer congressional district, forcing years-long colleagues McKinley and Mooney to run against each other. The primary has turned into a clash of styles, with McKinley running more on what he has accomplished in Congress and attacking Mooney for moving to West Virginia from Maryland in the last decade, while Mooney runs as the archconservative in the race, hammering his opponent for working with Democrats and voting for the infrastructure bill backed by President Joe Biden."
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With the report calling it "a race between two Republicans that has become one of the nastiest in the country," Merica and Simon wrote, "On paper, McKinley has an advantage over Mooney. The congressman, who was first elected in 2010, touts himself as a seventh-generation West Virginian, a powerful factor in a state that traditionally rejects out-of-state influence. And the newly drawn district is almost entirely made up of counties McKinley formerly represented, hampering Mooney, who must introduce himself to a new set of voters."
However Donald Trump is popular in the conservative state and Mooney is using that to his full advantage with personal Trump-like attacks on his opponent including running commercials accusing McKinley of taking part in “Pelosi’s anti-Trump, January 6th witch hunt.”
In response, McKinley "has responded by portraying Mooney as a Washington insider and labeling him a carpetbagger, noting that the Trump-backed candidate was a one-term state senator in neighboring Maryland from 2006 to 2010 and moved to West Virginia within the last decade," CNN reported.
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