Justice prevails in West Virginia

by Lauren Bratton

Photo: Alamy

West Virginia Republican Governor and U.S. Senate candidate Jim Justice prevailed on Tuesday night, defeating Rep. Alex Mooney, R-W.V., in the state’s Republican primary election.

Justice, a Democrat until 2017, will secure an additional Senate seat for Republicans if he wins in November, which is highly likely, according to Axios. Democrats have nine particularly vulnerable Senate seats to protect, and Justice’s victory would leave them only needing one additional seat to recapture the majority.

On the morning of the election, President Trump released a powerful video encouraging West Virginia voters to vote for Justice, who is wildly popular in the state. He emphasized Justice’s support “for clean coal and energy dominance,” noting that it was “something you don’t hear from a lot of politicians.”

Justice’s candidacy is likely one of a few reasons why retiring Democratic Senator Joe Manchin declined to run for reelection. Justice received more support in various polls leading up to Manchin’s decision.

Justice will face off against Democratic candidate Glenn Elliott, a real estate broker and attorney who has Manchin’s endorsement. Elliott is also the current mayor of Wheeling, West Virginia, but his term ends on June 30.

While voter turnout is usually lower during primary elections, Justice received 91,650 more votes than Elliott on Tuesday. If Justice beats Elliott in November, he will be the first Republican senator from the state since 1958, according to Axios. Strangely enough, Manchin is West Virginia’s only Democrat representing the state in Congress, according to the New York Post.

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