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Fueling Up: McKinley receives Oil and Gas Association endorsement

From left, Rep. David McKinley spoke with Paul Hoblitzell of the Oil and Gas Museum and Charlie Burd, executive director of the Oil and Gas Association of West Virginia. The association announced it was endorsing McKinley for the Republican nomination for the new 2nd Congressional District. (Photo by Jess Mancini)

PARKERSBURG — A major trade association endorsed a Republican primary candidate for the new 2nd Congressional District in West Virginia on Friday.

The Oil and Gas Association of West Virginia used the backdrop of the Oil and Gas Museum in Parkersburg to announce its endorsement of U.S. Rep. David McKinley, R-W.Va.

McKinley, a professional engineer, knows the importance of domestic energy for the economy, jobs in West Virginia and national security, said Charlie Burd, executive director of the Oil and Gas Association.

“McKinley is an engineer and businessman who understands the important role domestic energy has in growing our state and providing jobs for hard-working West Virginians,” Burd said.

McKinley was appreciative.

From left, Charlie Burd, executive director of the Oil and Gas Association of West Virginia, announced Friday the association’s endorsement of Rep. David McKinley for the new 2nd Congressional District. The announcement was made at the Oil and Gas Museum in Parkersburg. (Photo by Jess Mancini)

“Thank you Charlie,” he said.

Five Republicans are running in the primary election for the new 2nd District: Susan Buchser-Lochocki of Morgantown; Rhonda A. Hercules of Wheeling, Alexander X. Mooney of Charles Town, Mike Seckman of West Union and McKinley.

The leading candidates are McKinley and Mooney, the U.S. representative for the current 1st District of West Virginia. Districts 1 and 2 were combined for the new 2nd District in the 2021 redistricting because of population decline.

Early voting in the primary ends Saturday and election day is Tuesday.

McKinley feels the primary election has become a race between him and the ex-president Donald Trump, who endorsed Mooney because McKinley voted to create a bipartisan House committee to investigate the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol by Trump supporters to disrupt the lawful certification of the Electoral College votes.

“Essentially I’m running against Donald Trump,” McKinley said.

But McKinley, a West Virginia native, points to the endorsements by major West Virginia organizations including the oil and gas association and the Chamber of Commerce, Sen. Joe Manchin and Gov. Jim Justice.

“All the people who are West Virginia-centric,” McKinley said.

McKinley is “a true ally and long-time friend,” Burd said.

He is on the House Energy and Commerce and is the ranking member of the Environment subcommittee.

“A steadfast defender of domestic energy production, Congressman McKinley has introduced legislation and resolutions supporting American energy innovation and security, bills that would make a difference right here in West Virginia and across America,” Burd said. “We need strong leaders in Washington who will champion responsible natural gas and oil development in West Virginia.”

Jess Mancini can be reached at jmancini@newsandsentinel.com.

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