CHARLESTON – State Attorney General Patrick Morrisey’s U.S. Senate campaign is calling out Republican primary opponent Evan Jenkins for what it calls a political mailer sent out “with taxpayer dollars under the guise of constituent service.”

Jenkins' office dismisses the criticism.

Morrisey’s campaign issued a statement Nov. 27 critical of Jenkins’ mailer touting support of President Trump. The mailer says Jenkins is “standing with President Trump to create jobs,” and it talks about fighting to keep coal jobs, reinvesting in communities and diversifying the economy.

Morrisey campaign spokeswoman Nachama Soleveichik said a constituent of Jenkins in the Third Congressional District received the mailer and posted it on Twitter. It is stamped as a public document and as “official business,” meaning it was sent from Jenkins’ office using the franking privilege, which allows members of Congress to send mail without postage.

“But the mail piece is nothing more than a propaganda tool to further Jenkins’ Senate campaign,” Soleveichik said. “The mail piece does not provide any important information or promote any government services.”

Soloveichik said Jenkins “should be ashamed of himself.”

“Taxpayer dollars are supposed to be used for communicating genuine constituent services – not for political bragging,” she said. “Evan Jenkins should apologize to West Virginia taxpayers and disavow this shameful and narcissistic wasteful spending.”

A spokeswoman for Jenkins’ office dismissed the claims.

“The congressman uses a variety of methods to keep Third District residents updated about important issues and news in Congress,” Rebecca Neal told The West Virginia Record. “Jobs and the economy are key concerns for many West Virginians, and the rural nature of our district makes mail an effective way to stay in touch with constituents.

“The mailer was approved for distribution by both the Republicans and Democrats on the Franking Commission and complies with the House’s rules on mail.”

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.

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