When it comes to his principles, Alex Mooney is not one to compromise. And as a candidate for the U.S. Congress, Mooney has decided that he is the man to "fight for conservative West Virginia values."
Pursuing Shelley Moore Capito's soon-to-be vacant House of Representatives seat, as she in turn pursues retiring Jay Rockefeller's Senate seat, Republican Mooney is determined to stand for those values that he deems are most important to the people of the Mountain State.
"I love talking to people," Mooney, 42, said in an interview with The Inter-Mountain this week. "And one thing I've learned while talking to people in the area is that they are passionate about their state and they want to see their values represented in Washington."
Alex Mooney, a candidate for the U.S. Congress made a campaign stop in Randolph County this week.
After serving for 12 years in the Maryland State Senate, a position he earned when he ran against and defeated a liberal incumbent at the age of 27 - the youngest member of the state senate at the time - Mooney fought for conservative fiscal and social values, including lower taxes, less government spending, protecting Second Amendment rights, pro-life legislation, job creation and caring for seniors.
"My record on lowering taxes is proven," said Mooney, a self-proclaimed conservative.
"I also aim to repeal Obamacare completely and will fight Obama's war on coal."
Coal is a topic, Mooney said, that he, and the people of West Virginia are very passionate about.
"This is their livelihood," he said. "But more than that, it's a proud heritage, something West Virginians take pride in. I want to help deregulate the coal industry to help allow that heritage and those workers to continue. Voters don't want somebody who is going to be moderate in defending the coal industry. They want somebody who's going to stand up and fight."
Mooney is adamant in his stance regarding federal spending.
"The folks of West Virginia live within their means," he said. "And they look at the federal government, and they're spending like drunken sailors. The people of West Virginia are very upset with that."
Mooney, who lives in Jefferson County, was in the Elkins area this week to speak at a meeting of the conservative group the West Virginia Patriots, held at the Chenoweth House in Beverly. He said he would love to come back to Elkins, which he visited earlier this month for the Mountain State Forest Festival's Grand Feature Parade.
"What I've seen of it has been great," he said. "I can't wait to get to know more of the people here."
Mooney, the son of a Cuban refugee and a Vietnam veteran, attended Dartmouth College, graduating in 1993. He then served as an aide to western Maryland Congressman Roscoe Bartlett and as a legislative analyst for the House Republican Conference Committee under Congressman John Boehner, R-Ohio, who is currently the speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives.
Mooney said of the recent federal government shutdown, "The deal reached by congressional leadership does nothing to protect West Virginians from the Obamacare train wreck and does nothing to deal with our looming debt crisis.
"Congressional leadership has just agreed to give President Obama a blank check to rack up even more deficit spending without making any real spending cuts," Mooney said in a press release. "Sadly, our children and grandchildren will pay the price for this fiscal irresponsibility if we don't change business as usual in Washington soon.
"It is time for our congressional leaders to make the tough choices to cut spending, protect West Virginians from Obamacare's mandates and taxes, and stop kicking the can down the road."
Contact Chad Clem by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.