WASHINGTON, D.C. — Third District Congressman Nick Rahall (D-WV) knows his potential opponent for the 2014 General Election well.
“Evan and I are good friends,” said Rahall of Cabell County State Senator Evan Jenkins (R-5) who changed his party affiliation from Democrat to Republican last week and launched a Congressional campaign.
In his campaign announcement, Jenkins said he could no longer be part of President Barack Obama’s party.
“There is an agenda that I simply cannot support,” he said. “It is important to me to follow my conscience, to follow my heart.”
Rahall said that is a major change for Jenkins.
“He’s supported me financially in the past, I might add, after President Obama was elected President of the United States, after Obamacare was enacted and during my last campaign against a party switcher,” he said.
Former state Supreme Court Justice Spike Maynard became a Republican before unsuccessfully challenging Rahall in 2010.
Rahall said, like Jenkins, he disagrees with the Obama Administration on a number of issues.
“That doesn’t mean I switch my party or renounce my membership in the Democratic Party. What good is that going to get me? That’s certainly not going to help those in this Administration to come to my point of view whatsoever.”
Instead, he said he does his best every day to represent the people in Southern West Virginia who have kept him in office since 1976.
“I’ll continue to do that, regardless of the time of year, regardless of which year, regardless of which opponent,” said Rahall.