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Charleston Daily Mail endorses McKinley in District 1, Jenkins in District 3

— *** Newspaper Endorsements 2014 ***—

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — West Virginia has two interesting races in its three congressional districts. The plain vanilla race for District 1 between two-term incumbent Republican David McKinley and Democrat State Auditor Glen Gainer is not one of them.

Gainer has served as state auditor since 1992, doing a respectable job in that position. There’s no reason for him to leave that office in mid-term.

Gainer told the Daily Mail editorial board earlier this month that he is entering the race to combat the gridlock and dysfunction in Washington.

That’s not a bad reason, but his opponent McKinley is not part of the dysfunction.

McKinley, one of only two professional engineers in the U.S. House of Representatives, has obtained a Democratic co-sponsor for each of the nearly two-dozen bills he’s introduced since taking office in 2011. He is the first person not named Mollohan to hold that 1st District seat since 1969.

With his nearly 50 years of professional business experience — something highly lacking in the U.S. House — the Daily Mail recommends a vote for McKinley in District 1.

 The race in southern West Virginia for the 3rd District, between 38-year incumbent Democrat Nick Joe Rahall and Republican Evan Jenkins, is much more interesting.

Like other Democrats, Rahall distances himself from President Obama. Rahall has held the seat since 1976.

But he is seeing his biggest challenge in 20 election cycles this year in Republican Evan Jenkins.

Jenkins’ detractors point out that he’s a party switcher, having originally been a Democrat, then a Republican, back to a Democrat and changed again in a highly publicized announcement last year to run for the 3rd District.

No matter. Jenkins was always conservative as a Democrat. He said the party has left him more than the other way around.

“I changed my party because I wanted to stand up and fight against the agenda that is so wrong for our state,” he told the Daily Mail editorial board, in a meeting Rahall declined to attend.

With experience in the Statehouse, state Senate and as executive director of the West Virginia Medical Association, the 53-year old Jenkins has the experience necessary to be a good representative.

Voters can show their appreciation to Rahall’s 38 years of service by giving him a nice retirement.

Follow The Charleston Daily Mail’s endorsements and news coverage at http://www.charlestondailymail.com/

Editor’s Note: The West Virginia Press Association is compiling political endorsements offered by its member newspapers to give readers a statewide view. For more endorsements, visit https://wvpress.wpengine.com/opinion/endorsementweek2014/

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