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Jenkins announces bid for U.S. Senate


The Register-Herald

BECKLEY, W.Va. — U.S. Representative Evan Jenkins has announced his bid for U.S. Senate against Sen. Joe Manchin.

In a video released Monday, Jenkins, who represents the third district, announced his anticipated run against Manchin.

In the nearly 3-minute video, Jenkins criticized Manchin in areas including gun control and Planned Parenthood saying Manchin doesn’t stand for West Virginia values.

U.S. Rep. Evan Jenkins, R-W.Va.

He also mentioned President Donald Trump in the video. Trump carried West Virginia in the November election, winning nearly 70 percent of the vote.

“I’m Evan Jenkins and I’m running for the United States Senate to help bring West Virginia back,” Jenkins says in the video. “… [W]ith Donald Trump in the White House we’ve got a real chance to turn things around. He needs our help and I need your help. West Virginia needs your help.”

Jenkins may not be the last high-profile Republican candidate lining up for a shot at Manchin. According to the Politico website, Attorney General Patrick Morrisey recently unveiled plans to form a super PAC that would back Morrisey if he decides to run for Senate. And that PAC – 35th PAC – took its first shot at Jenkins on Monday.

“This is a critically important race, and we aren’t going to beat Joe Manchin by running his ‘mini-me’ Evan Jenkins,” Leonardo Alcivar, an adviser for the super PAC, said. “West Virginians need a clear contrast and a real choice in this campaign. They don’t need Joe Manchin running against his campaign donor. That’s why we are hopeful Attorney General Patrick Morrissey will enter this race with his strong and clear conservative record and vision.”

Jenkins served as a Democrat in the West Virginia House of Delegates, representing Cabell and Wayne counties, from 1995-2001. He was elected to the state Senate as a Democrat, and served three terms in the chamber from 2003-2015. He switched political parties in 2013.

Jenkins is in his second term in the House, capturing West Virginia’s 3rd District – which includes southern West Virginia – from veteran Democratic Rep. Nick Rahall in 2014. It was one of the most expensive House races in the country that year.

Jenkins defeated Nick Rahall in his bid for U.S. House of Representatives in 2014, and easily won re-election this past fall to Democratic challenger Matt Detch and Libertarian Zane Lawhorn, carrying 67.9 percent of the vote.

Manchin served as the state’s 34th governor in 2005 and was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2010 to fill the seat left vacant by the late Sen. Robert C. Byrd.

The state’s other senator, Republican Shelley Moore Capito, was elected in 2014.

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