This time it's West Virginia State Senator Evan Jenkins who is running to defeat current incumbent in WV's 3rd Congressional District, Congressman Nick Rahall.
Rep. Nick Rahall (D-W.Va.), a top GOP target in the 2014 congressional cycle, now has a challenger. Democratic State Sen. Evan Jenkins announced Wednesday that he is switching parties to run against Rahall in the state’s 3rd District.A Democratic Party that our parents and grandparents would not recognize, eh? What's that Democratic Party you're thinking of Mr. Jenkins?
“I am leaving Barack Obama’s party to become a Republican and run for Congress against Nick Rahall,” Jenkins said in a statement. “West Virginia is under attack from President Obama and a Democratic Party that our parents and grandparents would not recognize.”
The Democratic Party I'm supporting has loads of progressives in the base, people that really do care about the party and want it to stand up for average Americans and for the underdog. From the Affordable Healthcare Act to Credit Card Reform to the Consumer Protection Agency to the Stimulus in 2009 to Elizabeth Warren to attacking voting rights suppression, how is Obama and the Democratic Party not accomplishing anything that's relevant to Democrats?
Oh wait, I forgot. Mr. Jenkins is no longer a Democrat anymore. He's a Republican. What is he planning on accomplishing anyway in the GOP? Becoming an obstructionist like the Tea Party folks are in Congress?
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has issued a shift response to Jenkins's decision to run as a Republican to challenge Nick Rahall:
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee slammed Jenkins for his party switch, calling him “spineless” and “Two-Face Evan Jenkins.”Here's Jenkins issuing a statement:
“When a politician like Jenkins is willing to abandon principles for his own ambitions, it’s impossible to trust Jenkins to look out for middle class families,” said DCCC spokesman David Bergstein.”The NRCC was turned down by virtually every actual Republican in the state and had to settle” for Jenkins.
“Voting Republican will send a strong message that eighty years of Democratic control in West Virginia is too long and Rahall’s thirty-six years in Congress is too many,” said Jenkins, who made a formal campaign announcement at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday. “We need our member of Congress to fight President Obama’s dangerous agenda, not campaign for it.”DANGEROUS AGENDA! 36 Years in Congress is too many! Oooooooh, what a convincing argument.
One problem with Mr. Jenkins's statement: The GOP has done absolutely nothing to advance the U.S. for the better and has become more partisan than its characterization of President Obama being partisan.
Here's a statement of the West Virginia Republican Party Chairman Conrad Lucas:
West Virginia Republican Party Chairman Conrad Lucas issued a statement saying the party proudly welcomed Jenkins.Finest example of an elected official my transistors.
"Senator Jenkins is the finest example of an elected official who sees that West Virginia's future must take precedence over the parties of the past," Lucas said in the statement.
Look, Nick Rahall may not be a progressive Democrat or an exactly liberal one but he's also representing the 3rd Congressional District of a conservative state. West Virginia never did give President Obama strong support in the beginning and won't do so for the remainder of his term.
Therefore, regardless of whether we get more progressive Democrats, liberal Democrats or centrist Democrats in the House of Representatives, it's important Nancy Pelosi or any other credible Democrat in Congress that becomes House Speaker or House Majority Leader (should the Democrats retake control of the House in 2014) get that opportunity. Every seat in Congress counts.