CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WOWK) — The West Virginia and Ohio primaries are all done, but they’re raising more interest in one man. Former President Donald Trump did have an impact in the primaries, but will he be a factor in November?
West Virginia Republican Congressman Alex Mooney defeated fellow GOP Congressman David McKinley in the primary by 18 percentage points. Former President Trump endorsed Mooney in a state where Trump’s popularity remains high. A week before, Trump endorsed Ohio U.S. Senate candidate J.D. Vance who also won his race.
Trump has endorsed five incumbent Republican Congressmen in next Tuesday’s Kentucky primary, and he’s endorsed TV physician Dr. Oz” for U.S. Senate the same day in Pennsylvania.
“Pennsylvania will probably be the toughest one that he’d singled out. But you’re talking, you know, he is the still most important person in the GOP. And he obviously enjoys flexing his muscle,” said retired Professor Robert Rupp, a political analyst.
“So there is the Republican Party and the Trump Party. And I think the Trump Party controls the Republican Party in West Virginia,” said Tom Susman, a political analyst with TSG Consulting.
One place where Trump could still be influential in West Virginia is in the District 7 State Senate race.
That seat is currently held by long-time Democratic State Senator Ron Stollings, a well-known Boone County doctor. But Stollings will face former U.S. Attorney Mike Stuart, who successfully ran Donald Trump’s campaign in the Mountain State in 2016.
Right now political watchers we’ve been talking with, believe the Stollings-Stuart race will be the most expensive, and competitive race on the November ballot in West Virginia.