- Associated Press - Thursday, October 16, 2014

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - As the season’s political TV ad blitz heightened, Democrats in West Virginia’s two competitive U.S. House races outspent their GOP opponents about 2-to-1 last quarter.

In West Virginia’s 3rd District, Democratic U.S. Rep. Nick Rahall shelled out $1.2 million for his tough re-election bid, more than double the $542,800 spent by GOP opponent Evan Jenkins.

Democrat Nick Casey tallied a $1.1 million tab from July through September, nearly twice Republican Alex Mooney’s $633,500 tab for the 2nd District.

Both Republicans will still have a cash edge heading into the election homestretch.

Seeking his 20th term, Rahall raised $487,200 from July through September and had $381,700 cash left. Jenkins, a state senator, raised $307,200 and had $461,400 in his campaign account.

Mooney brought in $594,500 and had $317,700 left to start October. Casey brought in $451,400 last quarter and had $224,000 remaining in his account.

For the 3rd District, numbers submitted in federal election reports Wednesday only tell part of the story.

Political party groups and outside organizations are spending millions of dollars attacking opposing candidates. Groups fueled by the billionaire businessmen Koch brothers have helped Jenkins most. The House Majority PAC has aided Rahall most.

The race centering on southern coalfield politics is considered a toss-up and a top priority for both parties.

The 2nd District hasn’t endured the same onslaught of outside groups pouring in cash.

In the 1st District, Republican U.S. Rep. David McKinley continued to surpass Democratic challenger Glen Gainer, the state auditor. McKinley is the heavy favorite.

McKinley raised $235,200, spent $541,000 and still had $1.1 million heading into October.

Gainer raised $94,400 and spent $93,000, with $189,400 cash on hand.

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