West Virginia Senate candidate raises more money from Marylanders


Rep. Alex Mooney, originally from Maryland, received more campaign cash from his home state than residents of the state he hopes to represent.

Rep. Alex Mooney (R-WV) raised more than twice the amount from residents of Maryland as he did from residents of West Virginia, where he's running for Senate in 2024, according to a review of Mooney's fourth-quarter fundraising report.

Mooney raised just $14,700 from West Virginia residents over the last three months of 2022, according to a document his campaign filed with the Federal Election Commission. That's less than half as much as the $38,500 he took from residents of Maryland, where Mooney is from and used to hold office.

Mooney served in the Maryland state Senate from 1999 until 2011. He was also the chair of the Maryland Republican Party from December 2010 until March 1, 2013.

After he resigned from his role as Maryland GOP chair in 2013, Mooney moved to neighboring West Virginia and launched a successful bid for Congress. Now Mooney is running for the Senate seat currently held by West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin — a top Republican pick-up opportunity in 2024 in the deeply Republican state.

Among his contributors are Dirk and Jessica Haire, who each gave the maximum $2,900 primary contribution to Mooney's campaign. Dirk was the chair of the Maryland Republican Party and worked for former Maryland Republican Gov. Larry Hogan's 2014 gubernatorial bid. Jessica was a member of Maryland's Ann Arundel county council.

Former Annapolis City Election Board member Allen Furth also gave $5,800 — the maximum amount for both a primary and general election $5,800 — to Mooney's Senate campaign.

Mooney's move from Maryland to West Virginia has been an issue in the past. It angered some Maryland Republicans back in 2013.

“Even though we weren’t big supporters, any time a state party chairman abandons the state — if it’s that easy for him to pick up and leave after two years as state party chairman and 12 years as state senator — that is disheartening,” Brian Griffiths, then-chairman of the Maryland Young Republicans, told The Gazette at the time.

But in 2022, Mooney overcame the carpetbagger label used against him in the GOP primary and defeated Rep. David McKinley, in large part due to an endorsement from former President Donald Trump, after redistricting pitted the two members of Congress against each other in West Virginia's 2nd Congressional District.

Mooney is currently the most well-known Republican running for the Senate nomination in West Virginia. But he may soon have company: Republican Gov. Jim Justice said he is "leaning" toward running.

Manchin has yet to announce whether he is running for reelection. He has defied the state's Republican lean three times, first winning the seat in a 2010 special election to finish out the late Sen. Robert Byrd's term and then being reelected in 2012 and 2018.

President Joe Biden won Maryland by 33 points in 2020, while Trump carried West Virginia by 39 points. The Cook Political Report currently rates the race a toss-up.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.