CHARLESTON – The U.S. Senate campaign of Attorney General Patrick Morrisey is calling Republican primary opponent Evan Jenkins a hypocrite, claiming he allegedly violated state Senate rules by lobbying for the West Virginia Medical Association as its executive director when he was a state lawmaker.
“It’s clear that Evan Jenkins will say and do anything to further his political career, even if every other word is laced with hypocritical baloney,” Morrisey spokeswoman Nachama Soloveichik said. “No doubt, Jenkins is trying to cover up his 20 years as a Democratic legislator, supporting Hillary Clinton, taxpayer-funded abortion, and cap-and-trade, but he has a major credibility problem.”
Jenkins, who represents the state’s Third Congressional District in the U.S. House, was executive director of the WVMA from 1999 to 2015. He was a member of the House of Delegates from 1994 to 2000 and the state Senate from 2002 to 2014.
In 2003, state Senator Herb Snyder, a Democrat, introduced a measure to censure Jenkins, then a Democrat, for voting on issues in which he has a conflict of interest. The resolution said Jenkins had sponsored, lobbied and voted for bills related to the medical industry.
A press release from Morrisey’s campaign also included a sentence from a 2002 Charleston Gazette article that said “the conflict of interest is even more troublesome considering the West Virginia Medical Association spent thousands of dollars on television ads to elect Evan Jenkins to the state Senate – while Jenkins served as executive director.”
Jenkins’ campaign manager criticized the comments from Morrisey’s campaign.
“So Morrisey thinks it was wrong for Evan Jenkins to lead the successful fight for conservative medical malpractice reform?” Andy Seré told The West Virginia Record. “Got it. After taking tens of thousands of dollars from liberal trial lawyers for his Senate campaign, it shouldn’t surprise anyone to see him doing their bidding — because Patrick Morrisey will do anything for money.”
In addition to Morrisey and Jenkins, former coal miner Bo Copley has announced plans to run as Republicans for the Senate seat currently occupied by Democrat Joe Manchin for the 2018 election. Manchin will face primary competition from environmental activist Paula Jean Swearengin, who already has been endorsed by the Brand New Congress political action committee formed by former staff members and supporters of Bernie Sanders. Former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship also has hinted as running as a Republican or an Independent.