LOGAN, W.Va. — Third District U.S. Rep. Nick Rahall labeled a report by national media “absolutely false” Sunday afternoon. Speaking by telephone from the nation’s capital, the veteran Democrat congressman who represents much of Southern West Virginia, added, “I’m a fighter; not a quitter.”
Rahall was responding to a report that he considered withdrawing as a candidate for re-election this year but changed his mind after being reassured he would receive more campaign funds from Democratic national leadership. Cable News Network reported the claim Sunday, according to Kyle Balluck of The Hill, an independent website that focuses on Washington, D.C., and national politics. The Hill spoke with Rahall about his re-election campaign in March as well, according to Balluck.
The cable channel’s John King said on “Inside Politics” Sunday that Rahall was “about to retire a couple of weeks ago. And the leadership convinced him not to do that. And they promised him there’d be more money coming in.”
Rahall, 65, who represents West Virginia’s Third District in the southern portion of the state, is in a re-election campaign that pits him against newcomer Richard Ojeda II in the May primary. If successful there, the veteran congressman would face Democrat-turned-Republican state Sen. Evan Jenkins in the general election.
Remaining in the race, Rahall has received a commitment from the Democratic Campaign Committee to add him to their “Frontline” list of members that need the most help to save their seats in November, The Hill reported. But Rahall said that report was untrue, as well.
“I gave absolutely no consideration to withdrawing from this race,” he said. “The Democrat Party has always intended to support me and they and the voters will do just that. I would not give up this seat, which belongs to the people, without a fight.”
King added that Rahall is “one of the guys under attack by outside interest groups, the Koch brothers.” That reference is to Charles G. and David H. Koch, whose “Koch Family Foundations” has been highly critical of President Barack Obama and liberal Democrats. They have financed efforts to defeat many Democrats, ordinarily supporting the Republican and/or libertarian candidates.
Rahall said Sunday he is not affected by support from the Kochs for Jenkins.
“I am not afraid of the Koch brothers and their money,” Rahall said…