CHARLESTON – In addition to a Republican senator, West Virginia soon will three members of the GOP in the U.S. House of Representatives.
At 11 p.m., incumbent Republican David McKinley had cruised to an easy victory in the 1st District race over Democrat Glen Gainer, the state's auditor, to represent the northern part of the state.
In the 2nd District race, Republican Alex Mooney squeezed by Democrat Nick Casey in the only close race of the three.
And in the 3rd District representing the southern part of the state, state Senator Evan Jenkins, a Republican, upset incumbent Nick Rahall by a wide margin.
Rahall was seeking his 20th term in the House.
The Jenkins-Rahall race has been labeled as one of the most contentious races in the nation. It also was viewed by man as an indicator of the national House picture as a longtime incumbent Democrat fought to keep his seat.
Jenkins has been in the state Legislature for 20 years, the last 12 as a state senator representing Cabell and Wayne counties. He switched parties last year to challenge Rahall as a Republican.
Like the Shelley Moore Capito campaign for U.S. Senate against Natalie Tennant, Jenkins' campaign constantly linked Rahall to President Obama's "anti-coal" policies.
Mooney, who moved to West Virginia from Maryland, noted that in his acceptance speech Tuesday night.
"Many of you know my family and I West Virginians by choice, and we love this state," he said. "West Virginia is our home. "We love the natural beauty all around us, we love the friendly, welcoming citizens, and we love that West Virginians are principled fighters.
"We West Virginians believe we can achieve a better future for ourselves and our children. We believe West Virginia can be a leader in job creation. We believe West Virginia can prosper and attract new people to this great state."
He also criticized Obama.
"For too long, President Obama and his allies have unilaterally usurped the power entrusted to Congress to inflict a host of painful regulations on our businesses and families," Mooney said. "But we West Virginians are fighting back. President Obama – I hope you are listening – because tonight, West Virginia has sent a message to you and your administration."
Mooney said that message includes repealing Obamacare and passing "health care reforms that actually fix our broken health care system," defeating the administration's "War on Coal," creating new jobs, protecting family farms from "crushing" federal regulations, protecting gun rights, reining in Washington's "uncontrollable spending" and making sure "we protect our quality of life for all West Virginians from our unborn children to our senior citizens."
Mooney also said he looks forward to working with the entire West Virginia delegation in Washington to "rein in the EPA’s out-of-control, job-killing regulations."
"Republican, Democrat, or Independent, we are all West Virginians," Mooney said "We are all Mountaineers, and Mountaineers are always free."