Rep. Alex Mooney (R-WV) officially announced on Tuesday that he will challenge Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) for his seat in 2024. The GOP House member just won another term in the midterm elections and will almost certainly face stiff competition for the GOP Senate nod.
Interviewed by the Associated Press, Mooney asserted that “I think I will defeat him.” He acknowledged that the incumbent has “been around for a long time” and has connections and funding, so it may be an uphill climb.
For his part, Manchin recently told Fox News that he has not made a “complete decision” on a reelection run in two years.
The newly-announced challenger has served in the U.S. House of Representatives since 2015, and it is expected that he will face several rivals during the GOP primary.
Mooney was endorsed by former President Donald Trump ahead of this year’s campaign. He told an interviewer Tuesday, the same day that Trump announced his third bid for the White House, that he intends to meet with the former president and ask for his endorsement for the Senate.
“I’m announcing it right now that I’m running for the U.S. Senate,” Mooney said.
— The Epoch Times (@EpochTimes) November 16, 2022
For the record, Trump carried a staggering 68.6% of the West Virginia vote in 2020. In the midterm tally for the state’s 2nd Congressional District, Mooney swept to victory with 66% of the vote.
Declaring that he is “all in,” Mooney told West Virginia’s MetroNews “Talkline” that he is “not happy” that Republicans did not secure a Senate majority in the recent midterms.
He added that the GOP needs Manchin’s current Senate seat in two years “for the sake of the country.”
As for his opponent, Mooney referred to the incumbent as “the chief enabler of Joe Biden.” That was likely in regard to Manchin’s key vote in August for the administration’s sweeping bill that was widely hailed by party members as a Democratic victory.
The package established a minimum tax for corporations, earmarked $370 billion for efforts against climate change, and targeted future prescription drug costs.
One possible contender for the chance to possibly square off with Manchin is West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey. The Republican said last week that he is “looking very closely” at running, and there will likely be several more hats in the GOP ring before the primary season in 2024.