MORGANTOWN – Incumbent Reps. David McKinley and Alex Mooney are considered the front-runners to win the GOP nomination for West Virginia’s newly drawn 2nd Congressional District.
This is a look at their campaign finances as the May 10 primary election approaches (we looked at the filings of the other three Republicans and two Democrats on Saturday).
As of April 20, according to their Federal Election Commission filings, Mooney had the edge in money. But the vast majority of his individual donors came from out of state during the most recent reporting period and he has a slight geographical disadvantage.
All but one of McKinley’s current 1st District counties are in the new 2nd District (Gilmer is in the new 1st). Only eight of Mooney’s current 2nd District counties are in the new 2nd.
McKinley, of Wheeling, also has the advantage of being a lifelong West Virginian. He served in the House of Delegates and chaired the state GOP. Before moving to Charles Town in 2013, Mooney was a Maryland state senator and chaired the Maryland GOP.
Mooney has a big endorsement on his side: former President Donald Trump. Mooney won Trump’s favor with his vote against the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, expected to bring more than $6 billion to West Virginia for roads and bridges, water and sewer projects, broadband expansion and abandoned mine lands cleanup, among other things.
Mooney and Trump have called that bill a win for Biden-Pelosi agenda, and McKinley’s vote for it has been a main point of attack for the Mooney campaign. Mooney also voted against the certifying the election results hours after the Trump-inspired Jan. 6 insurrection.
McKinley has stood by his infrastructure bill vote, calling it a vote for West Virginia and its infrastructure needs. McKinley has earned endorsements from Gov. Jim Justice, the state Chamber of Commerce, the West Virginia Manufacturers Association and the Gas & Oil Association of West Virginia, among others.
Mooney’s Pre-Primary report, covering April 1-20, showed him with $873,875.98 on hand at the end of the period.
His net contributions for the period were $61,630.92 and his expenditures were $641,916.53. His net contributions for the whole election cycle were $1,195,270.93 and his expenditures for the cycle were $2,748,342.51.
Breaking down the contributions, Mooney’s election cycle donations were $989,905.93 from individuals, $5,000 from party committees and $$204,165 from PACS.
Of 116 itemized donations from individuals during the Pre-Primary period, 24 came from West Virginians. The other 92 came from out-of-state donors. Maryland was tops, with 13. Next was California, 10; followed by Texas, 8; and Pennsylvania, Florida and Virginia, with 7 each. That doesn’t include small out-of-state donations aggregated and channeled through the Club for Growth PAC Conduit, the House Freedom Fund and WinRed.
Mooney is under investigation by the House Ethics Committee for allegedly previously misspending more than $40,000 in campaign funds for personal use. The Office of Congressional Ethics referred the matter to the committee on July 23, 2021. It made a second referral – Roll Call called it a broader inquiry – on Dec. 22, 2021.
The committee said it will announce its course of action on the matters on or before May 23 (which is after the primary election).
McKinley’s Pre-Primary report showed him with $510,276.44 on hand at the end of the period.
His net contributions for the period $79,463.51 and his expenditures were $620,195.87. His net contributions for the cycle were $1,545,911.96 and his cycle’s expenditures were $1,953,377.01.
McKinley’s election cycle donations were $800,161.96 from individuals and $749,850 from PACs.
During the Pre-Primary period, McKinley received 55 itemized donations from individuals: 37 from West Virginians, 18 from out of state. Six of the out-of-state donations were from a single household in Texas. From the rest, New York was tops with 4, followed by Ohio, Oregon and Washington, D.C., with 2 each. California and Virginia each notched 1.
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NOTE: This report has been upated to remove a sentence containing incorrect information.