PARKERSBURG - Rep. David McKinley is out of touch, particularly with senior citizens, a candidate for the 1st Congressional District in West Virginia said.
Democrat Sue Thorn also said Democrat Michael Oliverio is much like the Republican McKinley.
"There's really not much of a difference between he and McKinley," said Thorn, who has filed precandidacy papers for the 1st District.
Thorn Thursday campaigned in Parkersburg and later in Pleasants County.
McKinley was at a meeting where he didn't understand the "doughnut hole," where Medicare recipients are responsible for the cost of drugs after reaching the limits of the coverage, Thorn said.
"He's not really in touch with what's going on," she said.
Andy Sere, McKinley's chief of staff, said McKinley has gone against the Republican Party when Medicare was the issue.
"Rep. McKinley stood on principle and voted against his own party's budget because he believes Medicare must be protected for northern West Virginia seniors," Sere said. "By contrast, Mike Oliverio supports keeping Obamacare in place and opposes its repeal, thereby subjecting senior citizens to a $500 billion cut to Medicare. When it comes to protecting the greatest generation, McKinley and Oliverio couldn't be more different."
Two people have so far filed as precandidates with the secretary of state. The filing allows candidates to raise campaign funds for the 2012 election.
Also filing was Raymond V. Davis III of Wetzel County, an independent.
Thorn was a community organizer who has worked for the former Ohio Valley Industrial Business Development Corp., Organizing for America and the Hopeful City association of churches in Wheeling where she said her goal was to unite residents of different faiths. She is now devoting all her time to the campaign.
Among issues, she will oppose tax breaks for companies sending jobs overseas, military contractors shouldn't be paid up to 10 times more than a soldier working with them and military families should not have to rely on food stamps while contractors reap huge profits from the war.
McKinley was honored by the Washington Coal Club this week for his coal advocacy. He has been a vocal opponent of regulations by the Environmental Protection Agency which cause job losses.
Both environmental regulation and job creation are possible, Thorn said.
"It's not an either or," she said.