CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – West Virginia Congressman Alex Mooney (R-WV) is one step closer to keeping his U.S. Congressional seat after defeating fellow Congressman David McKinley (R-WV) in the state’s primary election.

After West Virginia lost a U.S. House of Representative’s seat when the 2020 Census revealed the state’s population had declined since 2010, the lines were redrawn pitting the two congressmen against each other in an incumbent vs. incumbent election race.

Prior to the race, both men touted major endorsements. Mooney was endorsed by former president Donald Trump. McKinley received an endorsement from West Virginia Governor Jim Justice (R) as well as a surprising endorsement across party lines from West Virginia’s Democratic U.S. Senator Joe Manchin. Mooney was endorsed by former president Donald Trump.

Additional candidates challenging the candidates were Mike Seckman, Susan Buchser-Lochocki and Rhonda Hercules.

In the 2020 Census data released in April 2021, West Virginia had the largest population drop of any state in the country with a 3.2% decrease. The Mountain State was one of seven states that lost a seat in the House.

In the current districts, McKinley represents District 1, Mooney represents District 2 and Carol Miller (R-WV) represents District 3 in the northern, middle and southern portions of the state respectively.

With the new districts, Miller is now running in the southern half of the state to represent District 1. She won the primary race against four Republican opponents in the primary election, and she will now run against Democratic challenger Lacy Watson in the general election.

Mooney hasn’t secured his seat in the U.S. House of Representatives just yet. Two Democratic challengers, Barry Wendell and Angela Dwyer also faced off in the primary election. Wendell won that race and will challenge Mooney in the general election to represent the northern half of the state in Congress.

Regardless of the election results, Representatives McKinley, Mooney and Miller will all remain in their current seats until January 2023.