Seven candidates are running in the Republican primary for U.S. Senate in West Virginia

Seven candidates are running in the Republican primary for U.S. Senate in West Virginia. Two candidates lead in local media attention, endorsements, polling, and fundraising: Jim Justice (R) and Alexander Mooney (R).

Justice is the state’s governor and a former businessman. Justice is running on his record, saying he signed the largest tax cut in state history, restrictions on abortion, and reductions in firearms regulations into law. Justice says Mooney has a poor record of performance in Congress. Justice’s campaign manager called Mooney “the only RINO [Republican in name only] in this race…insignificant and ineffective.” Justice’s endorsers include former President Donald Trump (R), five senators, and the West Virginia Coal Association.

Mooney is a member of the U.S. House. Mooney says he is running “to continue defending West Virginia’s conservative values and ensuring that our state continues to be a wonderful place to raise a family.” Mooney says Justice is a liberal: “Jim Justice is Joe Manchin 2.0. They’re basically the same…Why accept a liberal Republican when you can have a true conservative, especially with Joe Manchin now retiring?” Mooney’s endorsers include three senators, one U.S. representative, 16 state legislators, and the Senate Conservatives Fund.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) and the Club for Growth are supporting different candidates. The NRSC has endorsed Justice and the Club for Growth has endorsed Mooney. According to CNN, the “Club for Growth has planned to go head-to-head with the NRSC over candidates they believe are insufficiently conservative on fiscal issues, even as GOP leaders are focused on finding the most electable Republican.”

Also running in the primary are Bryan Bird (R), Zane Lawhorn (R), Don Lindsay (R), Bryan McKinney (R), and Janet McNulty (R).

Incumbent Joe Manchin III (D) is not running for re-election, leaving the seat open. Manchin is the only Democrat who has won a statewide election in West Virginia since 2016. As of March 14, 2024, The Cook Political Report with Amy Walter, Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales, and Larry J. Sabato’s Crystal Ball each rated the general election Safe/Solid Republican.