POLITICS: PennAve

Exclusive: West Virginia 3rd district race heats up with new ad buy

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Politics,Betsy Woodruff,West Virginia,2014 Elections,Campaigns,PennAve,Joe Manchin,Nick Joe Rahall

Evan Jenkins, the Republican nominee challenging Democrat Nick Rahall in West Virginia's 3rd Congressional District, is going up with his third ad buy of this cycle.

The spot, titled “Exist” and provided first to the Washington Examiner, hits on themes that seem requisite for West Virginia candidates: coal, guns and frustration with President Obama.

In it, Jenkins, a state senator, touts “the values we cherish” while strolling alongside a young man carrying a gun. He also charges that if the president had his way, West Virginia would be “out of business.”

Jenkins also says, “It's not party labels that matter,” a potential allusion to the fact that he changed his political affiliation from Democrat to Republican in 2013 so that he could challenge Rahall, according to Roll Call.

Jenkins isn't the only Mountain Stater to highlight his comfort with firearms and disapproval of Washington on television. Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin criticized the Affordable Care Act and literally shot a hole through cap-and-trade legislation in a spot that ran during his 2010 race.

Jenkins’ buy totals $37,000 and will run in the Bluefield/Beckley-Oak Hill broadcast and cable markets and the Charleston-Huntington cable market.

Rahall’s seat is a top target for national Republicans, as West Virginia has grown steadily redder over previous election cycles.

The Rothenberg Political Report rates the race as a “Pure Toss-Up.” Jenkins new ad is part of an escalating ad war between the contenders; Rahall went up with a five-figure buy on June 19 that charged that the Republican nominee is beholden to “billionaire financial backers.”

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