West Virginia

Mooney outraises Manchin in funding | News, Sports, Jobs

CHARLESTON — The 2024 election is less than a year away, but the money race has begun when US Rep. Alex Mooney outstripped US Senator Joe Manchin in quarterly fundraising.

Mooney raised nearly 100% more than Manchin over the period, according to Jan. 31 year-end reports covering political fundraising for October-December 2022 filed with the Federal Elections Commission.

Manchin, DW.Va. raised $160,030 during the three-month period, while Mooney, RW.Va. raised $317,290, carrying $1.08 million in cash from his successful re-election to the newly drawn 2nd congressional district in the November.

“Alex Mooney is honored to have received such strong support from conservatives across West Virginia just two months after announcing his candidacy for the US Senate.” said John Findlay, campaign manager for Mooney. “President Joe Biden and Senate Democrats will pour millions of dollars into protecting this seat and Senator Joe Manchin’s political career. Manchin is a stamp on Biden’s agenda and does not represent West Virginia conservatives.”

Still, Mooney has a long way to go to catch up with Manchin’s war chest. Manchin has almost 10 times the cash on hand compared to Mooney at $9.54 million.

Mooney threw his hat in the ring for the US Senate race to challenge Manchin in 2024, a week after winning his election for the new northern 2nd congressional district in November. Mooney defeated Democratic opponent Barry Wendell 66% to 34%.

After West Virginia grew from three to two congressional districts as of the 2020 census, the 1st and 2nd districts were combined to form the new 2nd district, covering the northern half of West Virginia. Mooney and six-year 1st District Rep. David McKinley challenged each other in the 2022 Republican primary last May, with Mooney defeating McKinley 54% to 36%.

Mooney, a former Maryland State House legislator and leader of the Maryland Republican Party, won the 2014 House of Representatives election for the seat once held by US Senator Shelley Moore Capito, RW.Va. He served the 2nd District for four two-year terms.

There was bad blood between Mooney and Manchin after Manchin crossed the political aisle to support McKinley over Mooney and even taped a television advertisement supporting McKinley. Mooney has lashed out at Manchin for his backing of the $1.2 trillion infrastructure investment and jobs bill in 2021 and the $737 billion inflation-reducing bill last year.

Manchin, who previously served as a member of the West Virginia legislature, secretary of state and governor for two terms, won the seat from the late U.S. Senator Robert C. Byrd in a special election in 2010 and won a full term in 2012. Most recently, he won the 2018 re-election to the US Senate, narrowly defeating Republican Attorney General Patrick Morrisey.

But Manchin has remained coy in the national press on whether he intends to run again in 2024 or seek higher office, such as a third-party run for US president, likely contributing to donor reluctance, Manchin to send money. Additionally, nearly all of Manchin’s campaign donations for the quarter came from out-of-state donors.

“Senator Manchin and his family continue to evaluate the best option for him to continue serving West Virginia and America.” said a Manchin adviser, who declined to be identified. “He intends to win every race he enters and his fundraising reflects that.”

Most of Mooney’s donors were also from abroad. Competition for donations could also intensify once Governor Jim Justice and Attorney General Patrick Morrisey decide whether to seek the Republican nomination for the US Senate. Justice, who is limited to two consecutive terms as governor, said an announcement could come in the next 30 days.

Morrisey, who challenged Manchin for the US Senate in 2018 and lost by three points, has released two statements over the past nearly three months encouraging supporters to hold off on supporting a candidate while he discusses his own policy options thinks. Morrisey is in his third term as Attorney General.

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