In what is a captivating story of fleeing Communist Cuba, Lala Mooney (Alex Mooney’s mother) first stopped in Miami before putting down roots in metro Washington, DC. Lala Mooney is captivating as she tells her story. She has even written a book titled “Leaving Cuba: One Family’s Journey to Freedom” by Lala Suarez Mooney. The book is a very interesting read, but the spirit of Lala Mooney is infectious and you can not help but feel good after talking with her.
On the back cover of the book there are several paragraphs by Lala’s brother, Alex’s uncle Xavier Suarez. Former Mayor of the City of Miami (1985-1993). Xavier Suarez is father to Francis X. Suarez – Miami’s mayor since 2017.
Alex Mooney’s first cousin Francis Suarez was first elected on November 7, 2017 with 86% of the vote. But in 2016 another Mooney family member was on the ballot.
On March 15, 2016 Senator Marco Rubio suspended his campaign for the presidency after winning only 1 of Florida’s 67 counties. The county he won was Miami-Dade. When he chose to drop out it created a shuffling of Florida’s Republican candidates. Just hours after Rubio announced he would run for his Senate seat, then Florida Congressman Ron DeSantis dropped his bid for Senate and returned to run for another term in his Northeast Florida House district – District 6.
When DeSantis returned to the congressional race, another candidate in that race took his exit. That candidate was Pat Mooney, Alex Mooney’s brother.
Pat Mooney in his initial announcement had promised constituents, if elected, he would vote similarly to Representative Ron Desantis. Pat Mooney was the managing director of Response America, a direct marketing firm that helps conservative political candidates raise funds and get out their message to voters. His LinkedIn profile says he has been the Managing Director of this company since 2006. He publicly cited the work he had done for Senator Marco Rubio as a past success.
Pat Mooney relocated from Virginia to Idaho in 2012 where he went through a divorce and filed for bankruptcy. His brother Alex was the Chair of Maryland’s Republican Party at the time before moving to West Virginia to run for Congress in 2014.
According to OpenSecrets.org, in addition to his brother Alex’s campaign, Pat Mooney’s Response America received vendor payments from both the Ron DeSantis for Congress and Patrick Morrisey for Senate campaigns. Response America continued to work for DeSantis through his campaigns for Florida Governor. The mailer pictured below is featured on the Response America website:
The Club For Growth endorsed Alex Mooney in April and pledged $10 million or more in support of Patrick Morrisey and Alex Mooney. The anti-Trump Club For Growth has been active in positioning itself against the National Republican Senate Committee. In fact, Politico quipped last month that the one thing both President Trump and Sen. Mitch McConnell agreed on is their disdain for the Club For Growth.
Our newsroom has received tips from campaign staffers this week that DeSantis is not only planning an announcement on his race for President but is also committed to endorsing Alex Mooney later this month. It is widely speculated that President Trump will endorse Governor Justice.
The divide that is occurring nationally in the Republican party seems to be coming directly to West Virginia, not only in the Senate race but the Governor’s race as well. In Ohio’s most recent Senate primary now Senator J.D. Vance realized victory behind the endorsement of Trump, while others in the Republican field distanced themselves from Trump’s legacy and policy. Trump endorsed Vance despite Vance’s previous comments that he was a “never Trump guy”.
In West Virginia, businessman now Governor Jim Justice has a higher approval rating among Democrats in the state than current Senator Joe Manchin (according to a new Morning Consult survey) and holds one of the highest approval ratings of all governors in America. It is worth mentioning despite national prominence, Governor DeSantis did not appear in the top 10.
President Trump’s family and the Justice family are known to be personal friends. While both Mooney are Morrisey have previously campaigned in alignment with President Trump it remains to be seen if organizations like the Club For Growth will be willing to pay to promote a Pro-Trump message in West Virginia for the two candidates.
CPAC on the other hand has invited West Virginia gubernatorial candidate and businessman Chris Miller several times in the last year to speak at their events. CPAC has been dominated by fans of President Trump.