HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — After a grinding campaign that seemed to point to a long election night, state Sen. Evan Jenkins, R-Cabell, opened up an early lead on 38-year Democratic incumbent Rep. Nick Rahall, D-W.Va., for the state’s 3rd Congressional District seat, and never let up.
With 97 percent of precincts reporting, Jenkins defeated Rahall with 55 percent of the vote, 74,780-67,247.
“From the beginning I felt good about the campaign … people were responding to our message of standing up to Washington, stopping the war on coal … so it felt good on the campaign trail, but you never know,” Jenkins said at his campaign viewing party at the Pullman Plaza Hotel in Huntington. “Taking on a 38-year incumbent is an enormous challenge, and I respect Congressman Rahall for his service. The voters have said they’re ready for a new leader. I’m honored to have gotten that vote of support.”
Jenkins won 14 of the 18 counties in the district, and picked up large margins of victory in places like Mercer and Raliegh counties that are historically staunchly Democratic…