CHARLESTON – With the primary election less than three months away, candidates on the Republican side are going after each other as well as incumbent Joe Manchin.
Patrick Morrisey’s campaign continues to be critical of Evan Jenkins’ fourth-quarter fundraising numbers.
Jenkins, who currently is a U.S. Representative from the state’s Third District, raised $204,000 in the last quarter and $221,000 in the third quarter of 2017. Morrisey’s campaign raised $1.4 million in those sixth months.
“With Evan Jenkins’ shockingly poor fundraising numbers and his liberal past, Democrats are salivating about the prospect at facing Jenkins in the general election,” Morrisey’s campaign said in a press release. “Evan Jenkins just might be the Democratic Party’s favorite Republican candidate.”
Morrisey’s campaign also shared some Twitter comments about Jenkins’ fundraising numbers.
“That’s unbelievably bad,” Chris Hayden tweeted. “Pretty sure I could raise more than that if I jumped into the GOP primary.”
“This is a shockingly bad number,” tweeted Daily Kos Elections.
“Evan Jenkins’ embarrassing fundraising numbers and his liberal voting record makes him the Democrats’ dream candidate to go up against Sen. Joe Manchin,” Morrisey campaign spokeswoman Nachama Soloveichik said. “If Evan Jenkins winds up the Republican nominee in the U.S. Senate race, the GOP can pack up its tent and go home.
“From cap-and-trade to Obamacare, Jenkins has supported the same liberal policies as Sen. Manchin, and now, he clearly doesn’t have the ability to compete financially.”
Meanwhile, former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship is criticizing Jenkins, Morrisey and Manchin with new web ads.
He tied Jenkins to Manchin, blaming both of them for the poor economy and the state’s poverty level.
“This ad delivers a very important message for West Virginians,” Blankenship said in a campaign press release about the ad. “Particularly those who want to keep their job or hope to find a job near home. The ad also reminds us all how long we have lived in poverty and in fear of being unable to support our families in West Virginia.
“Personally, I am reminded that even when I graduated from Marshall University in 1972, I had to leave West Virginia to find a job. We have been the victim of career politicians putting themselves first and their voters last for decades. In fact, combined Joe Manchin and Evan Jenkins have represented many of us in one political office or another for nearly 60 years.”
Blankenship said he doesn’t understand why anyone would even consider re-election Manchin or promoting Jenkins to the Senate.
“Our state is last in the nation in many economic respects and Jenkins' District is last within the state,” he said. “Our children and grandchildren deserve much more from us than Manchin and Jenkins can provide even if they wanted to. Neither know anything about job creation, or how companies choose where to locate their business, or what is needed by businesses to be successful. Neither have ever created a job in the private sector.”
Another web ad from Blankenship’s campaign highlights what it calls Morrisey's hypocrisy because of his connections to pharmaceutical companies and abortionists.
“He claims that his wife’s business activities are not connected to him,” Blankenship said. “For example, he says that his wife representing Planned Parenthood should not matter to those of us that are pro-life.
“Yet … while his wife is lobbying for Cardinal Health he is receiving campaign contributions from them. What the ad does not have time to say is that he supposedly represented us West Virginians in a lawsuit against Cardinal Health, even though he accepts campaign contributions from them.”
The ad asks “Whose Side Is Morrisey On?”
“Ironically, Morrisey or at least his wife and family benefit from Senator Joe Manchin’s vote to use our tax dollars to fund Planned Parenthood abortions,” Blankenship said in a press release about the ad. “Morrisey’s New Jersey values may allow him to think he can fool West Virginians into believing that his wife’s income from Planned Parenthood has no bearing on his views. But for sure they are not disconnected from his pocketbook.
“We have to be concerned whether Morrisey will feel indebted to the drug companies and to Planned Parenthood. Perhaps his wife will say, ‘Go ahead Patrick and defund Planned Parenthood, we don’t need the$460,000.’ Or Morrisey will say to the drug companies that gave him money, ‘Thanks for the money you gave me, but I am voting against you anyway.’
“Maybe, but I do not think so. Do you?”
Morrisey, currently West Virginia's Attorney General, Jenkins and Blankenship also will face primary competition from former coal miner Bo Copley from Delbarton, Martinsburg businessman Tom Willis and Weirton truck driver Jack Newbrough. Manchin will be challenged in the Democratic primary by Raleigh County environmental activist Paula Jean Swearengin.
West Virginia’s primary is May 8.