On Tuesday evening, Republican primary voters in key elections in West Virginia and Nebraska headed to the polls to choose their nominees.
In the Republican primary for West Virginia’s 2nd Congressional District, Alex Mooney, who was endorsed by Donald Trump, defeated David McKinley by a large majority.
Mooney received 54.2% of the vote, while McKinley received 35.6%.
Here are the key takeaways from Tuesday's primary elections in West Virginia — which saw the first incumbent-vs.-incumbent race of 2022 — and Nebraska. https://t.co/NbAkypruEo
— The New York Times (@nytimes) May 11, 2022
Politics of the Matter
West Virginia shed one seat in Congress, due to the 2020 Census, placing the two sitting Republicans in the same district.
President Trump strongly criticized McKinley for voting in favor of President Biden’s infrastructure program; the past president chose to openly support Mooney.
He stated he “will always safeguard our Second Amendment, and especially important is the fact that Alex fights for power generation and beautiful clean coal, and he will never stop.”
McKinley referred to Mooney as a “carpetbagger” since he was a major player in the Maryland Republican Party before migrating to West Virginia in 2014.
Mooney referred to his fellow Republican as a “complete RINO.”
Mooney said at a campaign in Pennsylvania, “He voted for the panel created on January 6 to probe Former President Trump and his friends.”
“He was among the 13 republicans that voted for Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi’s $1.2 trillion infrastructure-free spending bill.”
Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin and Republican Governor Jim Justice supported McKinley. Mooney will face longtime Morgantown official and Democratic contender Barry Wendell in November.
Republicans in Nebraska picked a University of Nebraska administrator over a Trump-backed contender and another moderate as their gubernatorial choice.
Jim Pillen, a regent of the University of Nebraska, received 33.9% of the vote. Trump-backed Charles Herbster placed second with 30.2%, and state Senator Brett Lindstrom received 25.8%.
Republican Governor Pete Ricketts, who was leaving office, helped Pillen’s campaign by spending millions of dollars on TV ads for the 66-year-old candidate.
TRUMP-BACKED CANDIDATES 58-1 IN PRIMARIES (Breitbart)
West Virginia: 2-0
— InteractivePolls (@IAPolls2022) May 11, 2022
Accusations of inappropriate touching hurt Herbster’s campaign.
He is the first candidate backed by Trump to lose this election cycle. Lindstrom, on the other hand, distanced himself from Trump and focused on urban voters.
Pillen, a former Nebraska Cornhusker, stated he will prioritize youth development.
Pillen also targeted critical race theory in the curriculum. He challenged the participation of males who identify as females in women’s sports.
In November, he will face state Senator Carol Blood, a Democrat. The New York Times reports the Democrats have not won a statewide election in Nebraska since 2006.
In the primary election for Nebraska’s 2nd Congressional District, incumbent Trump adversary Rep. Don Bacon beat challenger Steve Kuehl, who was not backed by the previous president, but was bid “good luck.”
In the fall, Bacon will face state senator Tony Vargas, a Democrat, in a campaign that is likely to be tough.
Mike Flood won the Republican nomination for the 1st Congressional District of Nebraska. Former Republican Representative Jeff Fortenberry vacated the seat in March after being found guilty of lying to the FBI.
Flood is expected to defeat the Democratic nominee in the general election in November.