Mooney receives support from Ted Cruz and conspiracies in West Virginia Senate race: ‘People are in denial’

KEARNEYSVILLE, West Virginia — With less than two weeks until the West Virginia Senate primaries, Rep. Alex Mooney (R-WV) is downplaying recent polling showing his opponent, Gov. Jim Justice (R-WV), consistently leading by double digits and says this is not the case. reflect the reality in the state.

“A lot of people here are in denial. A lot of people just think the establishment is going to win, but this primary is really about who is a true conservative,” Mooney said in an interview with the Washington Examiner ahead of a campaign stop on Thursday.

The five-term congressman faces an uphill battle against the state’s popular two-term governor, who was recruited and endorsed by the National Republican Senatorial Committee. Former President Donald Trump endorsed Justice in the Senate race to replace outgoing Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV).

Ted Cruz and Alex Mooney
Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) spoke to the Washington Examiner about supporting Rep. Alex Mooney (R-WV) for Senate during a campaign event in West Virginia on Wednesday, May 2, 2024. (Amy DeLaura / Washington Examiner)

The race will ultimately be a test of the NRSC’s new strategy of choosing sides in the primaries. The conservative Club for Growth is taking on the Republicans’ campaign arm in the Senate, adopting candidates it believes are not conservative enough on budget issues and backing Mooney in the race.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), who endorsed Mooney’s bid about a year ago, was a featured speaker at the meeting. He said the race’s prospects have now changed significantly after Manchin announced last November that he would not run for re-election.

“A year ago, when everyone thought Joe Manchin was going to run, the main argument used in the Senate was that we need a nominee who can beat Manchin,” Cruz said in response to a Senate question. Washington Examiner. “It’s a completely different race now. At this point, it is virtually beyond question that the next senator from West Virginia will be a Republican.”

“A state as red as West Virginia deserves a strong conservative fighter in the Senate, and that’s exactly who Alex Mooney is,” Cruz added.

Ted Cruz speaks at the Alex Mooney event
Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) speaks at an event in support of Representative Alex Mooney (R-WV) for the West Virginia Senate on Wednesday, May 2, 2024. (Amy DeLaura/Washington Examiner)

Justice leads 66% to Mooney’s 24%, according to a recent MetroNews West Virginia Poll. In an average of the polls, Justice Mooney has consistently led by more than 30 points throughout the cycle.

However, the fundraising numbers between the two candidates are slightly closer. Justice has raised $404,948 in the first quarter and more than $2.4 million this election cycle, according to campaign finance data, leaving him with $1.1 million in cash on hand. Mooney raised $315,978 during the quarter and nearly $2.1 million during the cycle and has about $1.3 million in cash on hand.

Mooney continues to condemn Justice’s political past as a Democrat. The governor of West Virginia has been a Republican since August 2017, when he announced the change after being elected as a Democrat.

“If voters here see a conservative option, they will leave Jim Justice very quickly. They are really looking for options,” Mooney said.

People carry "US Senate Mooney shirt"
Voters attending an event for Senate candidate Rep. Alex Mooney (R-WV) reciting the Pledge of Allegiance during a campaign event in West Virginia on Wednesday, May 2, 2024 (Amy DeLaura / Washington Examiner)


The West Virginia congressman, who has been crisscrossing the state for 18 months, said he will focus more on the southern part of the state in the remaining days leading up to the May 14 primary.

“I’m going to focus more on the southern counties, where I haven’t been their congressman,” Mooney said. “I have represented two-thirds of the state in the U.S. House of Representatives, but not the southern portion.”