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RealClearPolitics Politics Nation Blog

 

Blog Home Page --> House -- West Virginia -- 01

Could Alan Mollohan Be The Next To Go?

Four days after Utah Republican Sen. Bob Bennett was shown the door by conservative delegates at the state party convention after 18 years of service, Alan Mollohan, the incumbent Democrat from West Virginia's 1st Congressional district, is facing perhaps his toughest re-election in nearly three decades in Congress.

Mollohan is squaring off today in the Democratic primary against state Sen. Mike Oliverio, an upstart who's put the incumbent on the defensive over his record in Washington. A recent television ad from Oliverio slammed Mollohan as "one of the most corrupt members of Congress." The state legislator has also skewered Mollohan for his vote in favor of health care reform and for initially supporting cap-and-trade.

And Mollohan has been criticized for his propensity as an Appropriations subcommittee chairman to steer millions of dollars in earmarks to the district. Once seen as a virtue in a congressman's re-election campaign, earmarks this year have become symbolic of overspending by Washington.

Oliverio's received the backing of the Ogden newspaper chain, with papers across the district in Wheeling, Weirton and Parkersburg. And he raised more than $320,000 through the third week of April, with more coming in as the primary drew closer.

Despite the challenge from his right, Mollohan is receiving help from the National Rifle Association, which is reaching out to voters in the district to highlight his 100 percent voting record and "A+" rating with the organization.

He's also responded with a TV ad, calling Oliverio "right wing" and tying him to the Tea Party and the state Republican Party.

Continue reading "Could Alan Mollohan Be The Next To Go?" »