Congress, Elections

Morgantown Republican Chris Rose joins GOP primary race for U.S. Senate

MORGANTOWN – Another Republican has joined the race to win the 2024 U.S. Senate Republican primary next May.

Chris Rose, of Morgantown, is a former miner – now an electrician and controls technician – running on a pro-domestic energy platform.

He’s a fourth-generation miner originally from McDowell County and worked his way up from miner to management. When Consol idled his mine there, he came north to Morgantown with his wife, Amber, a registered nurse. He worked at what was then called Blacksville 2. When that closed, he took up his current job.

“Our federal representation’s not doing enough to fight for energy jobs,” he said. And his primary rival Gov. Jim Justice promoted the Form Energy storage battery plant deal – a move Rose sees as detrimental to fossil fuels.

So, he decided to step forward, he said. “Who better to stand up for West Virginia’s energy jobs and West Virginia families than someone who’s lived through this war on American energy? … I just look at these career politicians and they continue to let us down.”

Rose is a Bluefield State College alumnus with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering technology. On is campaign website,, he describes himself as “an ultra-MAGA conservative and political outsider who stands with President Trump and believes we must always put America first. … It is time that the working class had a seat at the table in Washington. The political class had their chance, they failed, and now it is our turn.”

One of his first acts in the Senate, he said, would be to introduce legislation to repeal the Inflation Reduction Act – what he calls the Inflation Expansion Act. “It doubled production taxes on coal and gas at a time we were already being crushed by inflation. That drove energy costs up.”

The coal tax he’s referring to is a permanent excise tax hike to support the Black Lung Disability Fund. The gas tax is a methane emissions fee.

Rose’s platform also includes expanded drilling on federal land. “We have the cleanest energy producers right here, in America, in the whole world.” So instead of buying it from foreign producers with lower standards, he said, “why not produce it here cleaner and put up millions of good-paying jobs for Americans?”

With coal reserves depleting in many states, he also supports mining coal reserves on federal lands. For fossil fuels, he said, “the demand is still growing globally and it will continue for the next 15-20 years. So let’s mine coal on federal land so America can supply the world.”

He also advocates for bringing back manufacturing jobs from China – through such things as ramping up tariffs, offering tax breaks for American companies and working more closely with our allies.

And he favors a flat tax. “If you work overtime, you shouldn’t be punished just because you made a little extra this paycheck. I don’t think you should be penalized for financial achievement. … I’ve seen a lot of blue-collar workers where that resonates with them.”

A flat tax is fair, with no loopholes for anyone or any big business, he said.

About electric vehicles he noted, “We’re retiring generation faster than we’re building it and it’s straining our grid. … If we don’t have reliable natural gas, coal and nuclear to stabilize the grid, as more EVs come to market, rolling blackouts are going to become more of a common theme.”

Rose admits he doesn’t have the name recognition or the money of his rivals Rep. Alex Mooney or Justice.

As The Dominion Post recently reported, Mooney raised $2,010,616.51 through the first two quarters of the year and entered the third quarter with $1,536,560.92 cash on hand. Justice raised $935,035.87 with only one quarter of campaigning and had $808,764.22 cash on hand.

Rose’s campaign had raised $7,663.66 through the first two quarters and had $4,477.31 cash on hand.

“The one way we have to overcome that is old school campaigning,” he said, “boots on the ground, door to door, grass roots, lot of volunteers. And we have that.”

A couple of Tea Party groups are working with him, he said, and he’s campaigning already to get his message out. “It is an uphill challenge, but West Virginia and America are worth the fight.”

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