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Thursday, May 10, 2018

Morrisey won without Trump

The Eastern Panhandle, not Donald Trump, won the Republican primary for Attorney General Patrick Morrisey.

Panhandlers flexed their political muscles in Morrisey's five-point win over Congressman Evan Jenkins in the race for the Republican U.S. Senate nomination.

Morrisey carried Berkeley, Jefferson, and Morgan counties by 6,779 votes. He won the race by 7,683 votes.

He did well in the counties just west of the EP, scoring majorities in Grant, Hampshire, Hardy, Mineral, and Pendleton counties. Overall, he had the northern part of the state. Jenkins had the south.

Don Blankenship turned out to be a non-factor although he rustled up some worries in Washington and my house on Monday.

"To the great people of West Virginia we have, together, a really great chance to keep making a big difference. Problem is, Don Blankenship, currently running for Senate, can’t win the General Election in your State. No way! Remember Alabama. Vote Rep. Jenkins or A.G. Morrisey!" President Trump tweeted on Monday.

That may have led to a surge in voting.

But I do not buy the excuse that this cost Blankenship the race. He fell 20,418 votes shy of Morrisey, and 12,735 votes shy of Jenkins.

I voted for Jenkins because there were 29 reasons against voting for Blankenship.

We can argue about the merits of Booth Goodwin's prosecution of Blankenship. Goodwin did try to leverage that into the Democratic nomination for governor.

But Blankenship was the chief executive officer of Massey Energy when 29 miners died in an explosion at Upper Big Branch. He holds at least some responsibility for that tragedy. The idea of rewarding him with public office was absurd.

The race was between Jenkins and Morrisey. Panhandlers decided it.

The shift of power to the Eastern Panhandle became apparent four years ago when Alex Mooney won the Republican nomination for Congress, and then squeezed by Nick Casey in the general election.

Looking east for leadership makes sense. The Eastern Panhandle and Morgantown are the growth areas of the state. We would be foolish not to build on that success. Obviously, officials there are doing something right. The rest of the state should listen and learn.

That Mooney and Morrisey are not natives of West Virginia does not bother me. We need to attract people from other states, if only to replace the young people we lose to other states.

In the three congressional races, Democrats nominated West Virginia University law professor Kendra Fershee in the 1st District to face Republican incumbent David McKinley. She is to the left of Lenin.

Talley Sergent of Charleston will run against Mooney. She worked for Jay Rockefeller and Hillary Clinton. I guess Democrats have to go with the army they have.

Republicans chose House of Delegates Majority Whip Carol Miller to succeed Jenkins in Congress. She ran a down-to-earth campaign featuring a family Bible and her Swann Ridge Bison Farm in an excellent ad by Andy Sere of PRIME Media Partners.

That was a nice ad, but politics like real estate is all about location. She got the Huntington vote.

She will face firebrand state Senator Richard Ojeda. He bills himself as the new face of the Democratic Party. The O in his logo looks a lot like the O in Obama's.

Ojeda may want to reconsider that.

Morrisey's next challenge is Democratic Senator Joe Manchin, who bills himself as the most independent member of the Senate. I saw him at the State of the Union sitting back down when Chuck Schumer frowned. Schumer wouldn't let Manchin applaud the tax cut, which Manchin did not vote for.

Manchin voted against Trump nearly 40 percent of the time. Who does he represent? Certainly not the Trumpiest state in the union.

But we shall see if the Manchin machine has one more win in it.

It should be a very entertaining campaign. Manchin will go after Morrisey's wife, the lobbyist.

I expect Morrisey to go after Manchin's daughter, her fake degree, and the mass layoffs at her company. Republicans already have a person in a Mister EpiPen costume who occasionally shows up at Manchin events.

Democrats are taking comfort in having a larger turnout in their primary. Not so fast.

In 2014, Natalie Tennant received 104,598 votes in her party's primary, while Shelley Moore Capito received only 74,655 votes in the Republican primary.

How did that work out for Tennant that November?


  1. Has the Eastern Panhandle turned into D.C. suburbs yet? It was trending that way when I moved out west (Nevada) a quarter-century ago.

    1. No, Retro, we’ve turned into a place where people get jobs. Lotsa jobs. More jobs than you can shake a stick at. Hell, I lived in Gaithersburg for 28 years. This place is light years away from there. Don’t you go dissin Almost Heaven. We got this.

    2. Glad to hear that zregime. I know how deep the tentacles of D.C. have reached into the Commonwealth of Virginia. I thought Martinsburg was starting to get pulled into the orbit of Planet D.C., but that's good news if it's not. No dissin' intended.

  2. Blankenship was a factor in the outcome. He ran second to Jenkins in a fair amount of southern counties and even won one county. If Blankenship does not run, then it's truly a North vs. South race. Common sense dictates a lot of Blankenship votes go to Jenkins. Morrisey may have still prevailed but it would have been down to the wire.

    1. My thinking was they would have split his vote 45-45 with the rest getting 10