- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 3, 2018

An already ugly West Virginia Republican Senate primary got even nastier Thursday as state Attorney General Patrick Morrisey accused his rival, U.S. Rep. Evan Jenkins, of blatantly lying for the second time in a campaign ad.

Mr. Morrisey sent Mr. Jenkins a cease-and-desist letter, calling on the Jenkins campaign to pull an ad that claims the attorney general is the owner of Washington lobbying firm Capitol Counsel. The commercial, airing in West Virginia, also says the lobbying firm is backed by “anti-gun financier Michael Bloomberg.”

“This claim is blatantly false,” the Morrisey campaign said in its letter. “Patrick Morrisey is not, and has never been, the owner of Capitol Counsel. Instead, Patrick’s wife, Denise Morrisey, is a member of the firm, and public disclosure filings demonstrate that she has never worked on behalf of Michael Bloomberg.”

It’s the second time in just a week that Mr. Jenkins — who leads in the three-way primary ahead of next week’s vote, according to the most recent polling — has aired campaign ads that at best stretch the truth, and at worst are simply false.

The Jenkins campaign also has run an ad that photoshopped a picture of Mr. Morrisey shaking hands with Hillary Clinton.

The actual photo shows Mr. Morrisey shaking hands with President Trump in the Oval Office.

Tea Party groups that have backed Mr. Morrisey in the primary — which also includes former Massey Energy CEO and ex-convict Don Blankenship — say the “fake” campaign ad should disqualify Mr. Jenkins.

“Liberal Evan Jenkins has just disqualified himself from consideration for the West Virginia Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate,” said Jenny Beth Martin, chairman of the Tea Party Patriots Citizens Fund. “You’ve heard of fake news? Well, now we’ve got fake campaign ads. I’ve seen rough tactics in campaigns, but this ad is so far over the line of what’s acceptable it should go in the admakers’ hall of shame.”

The West Virginia primary is May 8. The winner of the Republican contest will face incumbent Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin in the general election in November.

Correction: This article has been corrected to reflect that former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship was convicted of a misdemeanor, not a felony.

• Ben Wolfgang can be reached at bwolfgang@washingtontimes.com.

Copyright © 2022 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide