CHARLESTON, W.Va. — West Virginia Third District Congressman Evan Jenkins is officially in the race for U.S. Senate.
Jenkins, a Republican, filed his paperwork Tuesday with the West Virginia Secretary of State’s Office. He announced his campaign in May 2017.
During an appearance on Tuesday’s MetroNews “Talkline,” Jenkins said he’s focused on working with President Donald Trump.
“Donald Trump needs somebody who has a proven record, who is a conservative that has been with Donald Trump from Day 1 and I have,” he said.
Jenkins is running to take the place of Democratic U.S. Senator Joe Manchin, who is up for re-election this year.
One of Jenkins’ GOP opponents, state Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, tweeted Tuesday that Jenkins “lacks the record” and “is now in the race as a spoiler for Manchin.”
He is now in this race as a spoiler for Manchin. He lacks the record, grassroots, and financial backing to compete. His fundraising has completely dried up since Morrisey entered the race. See article below. https://t.co/dsB4BuDydH https://t.co/PIciSOwBAA
— AG Patrick Morrisey (@MorriseyWV) January 16, 2018
Jenkins said Morrisey needs to stop lying about his voting record.
“It’s pretty easy for Patrick, in the cheap seats, to have never cast a vote in his life to sit and criticize others. I have a voting record in Washington and, yes, at the statehouse,” he said. “I’m the one candidate that is working with President Donald Trump each and every day.”
The President has been under fire this week for allegedly making disparaging comments about Haiti and African counties. Jenkins said he fully stands by Trump and doesn’t believe he made the “s—-hole counties” remark.
“I take the President at his word,” Jenkins told “Talkline” Host Hoppy Kercheval. “He has said he did not say it and I take the President at his word.”
Border security remains a top priority for the current administration. Jenkins said he backs Trump’s border wall.
“I am not going to be supportive of anything that doesn’t include funding for strong border security and that means the wall. We’ve got to start with that to stop the illegal immigration,” he said.
Building the wall also means controlling the flow of illegal drugs that enter the country from Mexico and eventually end up in West Virginia, Jenkins said.
“In West Virginia, the drugs, the heroin, the fentanyl and the things that are literally killing our people are coming over the border. This immigration, the strong border — this also is a very important way in which we attack the drug crisis,” he said.
Jenkins was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2015. Before that, he served in the state Senate and state House of Delegates.
In addition to Jenkins and Morrisey, the following GOP candidates have also launched their campaigns: Former coal miner Bo Copley, former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship and business owner Tom Willis.
Primary Election Day in West Virginia is scheduled for May 8.