The Club for Growth a conservative anti-tax group has committed to spending millions in West Virginia’s Senate and Governor’s races. The group endorsed Alex Mooney the day Patrick Morrisey announced he would run for Governor and not attempt another Senate run.
Ultimately the goal of the group is to influence federal races casting questions about the future of West Virginia’s Senate seats as Joe Manchin decides his future now and in 2026 Senator Shelley Moore-Capito will also be deciding her own future.
Should Justice run for the Senate seat he has the advantage of historic approval numbers and massive personal wealth. Politico reported this week that Justice has met with and was encouraged by the National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman Steve Daines to run as polling shows Justice is the only candidate who can beat Manchin.
Mooney, a former Maryland State Senator (1999-2011) has served West Virginia in Congress since 2015 and won re-election over David McKinley in what is now West Virginia’s 2nd Congressional District. MarylandMatters.org reported last year that this primary victory was also good news for Maryland as Mooney’s chief of staff is former state Senator Michael J. Hough (R-Frederick) who lost his bid for Maryland’s Frederick County Executive last year. Mooney was also said to have “rode the support of President Trump to defeat another Republican”. The Baltimore Sun headline reading “Mooney continues to suck the life out of Md. GOP” noted in a January 2014 editorial:
“It’s been nearly a year since Alex Mooney turned his back on the Maryland Republican Party, quit as chairman, turned tail, and fled to West Virginia in dogged pursuit of the Congressional seat he has always coveted. But Mooney continues to do damage to Republican candidates and conservatism on Maryland.”Brian Griffiths | Baltimore Sun – Jan 21, 2014
It now appears Mooney is embracing the anti-Trump Club for Growth to run against another native West Virginia politician, Governor Jim Justice.
The New Jersey Globe Headline reads “New Jerseyan running for governor of West Virginia“. David Wildstein of the New Jersey Globe details Morrisey’s political attempts from the New Jersey native who grew up in Edison, New Jersey, graduated from Rutgers then lost his New Jersey Congressional bid in 2000 before moving to West Virginia and later running for Attorney General.
Morrisey like Mooney has also embraced the political lift previously offered by President Trump. In 2018 Donald Trump came to West Virginia and supported Morrisey’s failed run against incumbent Joe Manchin.
The Club for Growth is chaired by David McIntosh a former Indiana Congressman succeeded by Mike Pence. Club for Growth has risen has a fundraising and organization platform for Republicans seeking to distance themselves from Trump and organizations like CPAC which is part of the American Conservative Union.
The Washington Post reported in May 2022 that David McIntosh used to fly on Air Force One, get personal shoutouts from Donald Trump, and boast to friends about his access to the former president. Now McIntosh and Trump aren’t speaking according to Trump advisers. The article cites Trump saying he wasn’t sure why McIntosh was working hard with his candidates and provided this quote:
“I don’t know. Maybe they’re trying to prove a point. So far it hasn’t worked,” President Donald J. Trump – Washington post – May 16, 2022
The Washington Post article goes on to detail how The Club for Growth chairman has benefited from his friendship with Trump bolstering his standing with some of the GOP’s largest donors.
One of the major donors of The Club for Growth is billionaire Jeffrey S. Yass one of the early investors in TikTok.