McKinley faces challenge from Grafton resident

David McKinley

After deciding against running for governor, U.S. Rep. David McKinley (R-W.Va.) has a strong advantage as he seeks a fourth term representing northern West Virginia.

The engineer from Wheeling faces Democrat Mike Manypenny, a hemp farmer who served three terms as a state House delegate before losing his re-election in 2014.

The two are vying for representation of the First Congressional District which spans 20 counties in West Virginia including all of the Northern Panhandle.

McKinley has enjoyed a huge cash advantage by raising more than $1 million for the race, while Manypenny has yielded only about $21,200 and has reported a negative cash balance in his campaign account.

Manypenny, a Grafton resident, is endorsed by the Sierra Club environmental group.

In addition to support from conservative and business groups, McKinley has endorsements from the United Mine Workers of America and the state’s Building and Construction Trades Council.

McKinley is one of three Republican congressmen defending the GOP’s clean sweep of West Virginia’s U.S. House seats in the last election.

In 2014, Republicans clinched every House seat from West Virginia for the first time since Warren Harding’s presidency in 1921. Republican Sen. Shelley Moore Capito also won, leaving Sen. Joe Manchin as the last remaining Democrat in Congress from West Virginia.

Reps. Alex Mooney and Evan Jenkins also each face Democratic challengers on Nov. 8.

For more on the McKinley and Manypenny campaigns, visit their websites: