Alex Mooney
Alex Mooney Congress (sq).jpg
Mooney in 2019
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from West Virginia's 2nd district
Assumed office
January 3, 2015
Preceded byShelley Moore Capito
Chair of the Maryland Republican Party
In office
December 11, 2010 – March 1, 2013[1]
Preceded byAudrey Scott[2]
Succeeded byDiana Waterman[3]
Member of the Maryland Senate
from the 3rd district
In office
January 13, 1999 – January 12, 2011
Preceded byJohn W. Derr
Succeeded byRonald N. Young
Personal details
Born
Alexander Xavier Mooney

(1971-06-07) June 7, 1971 (age 51)
Washington, D.C., U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Spouse
Grace Gonzalez
(m. 2002)
Children3
RelativesXavier Suarez (uncle)
Francis X. Suarez (cousin)
EducationDartmouth College (BA)
WebsiteHouse website

Alexander Xavier Mooney (born June 7, 1971)[4] is an American politician serving since 2015 as the U.S. representative from West Virginia's 2nd congressional district. A member of the Republican Party, he represented the 3rd district in the Maryland State Senate from 1999 to 2011 and is a former chair of the Maryland Republican Party. He is the first Hispanic person elected to Congress from West Virginia.[5]

Early life, education, and early career

Mooney's mother, Lala, was a Cuban refugee who escaped political imprisonment at age 21, shortly after the Bay of Pigs Invasion.[6] Her older brother is former Miami mayor Xavier Suarez, and Mooney is the cousin of Miami's current mayor, Francis X. Suarez.[7] His great-grandparents on his father's side were Irish-born. His father, Vincent, grew up in Long Island, New York. Mooney was born in 1971 in Washington, D.C., and raised in Frederick, Maryland. He graduated from Frederick High School, where he was elected president of the student government.[6]

In 1993, Mooney received his B.A. in philosophy from Dartmouth College. While attending Dartmouth, he ran for the New Hampshire House of Representatives in Grafton County's 10th District. He finished in last place with 8% of the vote.[8] In 2007, Mooney was elected to the Dartmouth College Association of Alumni's executive committee.[9] In early 2008, he traveled to New Hampshire to testify in support of a state bill that would require legislative approval for amendments that the private Board of Trustees of Dartmouth College wished to make to its charter.[10]

After college, Mooney interned for U.S. Representative Ed Royce and then served as staff assistant to U.S. Representative Roscoe Bartlett. In 1995, he became a legislative analyst for the House Republican Conference.[7][11]

Maryland Senate

From 1999 to 2011, Mooney represented Maryland's 3rd District, which covers parts of Washington and Frederick Counties, in the Maryland Senate. He served as the National Journalism Center's executive director from 2005 to 2012.

Elections

In 1998, Mooney defeated incumbent Republican John W. Derr in the primary election and Democrat Ronald S. Bird in the general election.[12] In 2002, he was reelected, defeating Democrat Sue Hecht with 55% of the vote.[13] In 2006, he won reelection with 52% of the vote against Candy Greenway.[14] In 2010, Democrat Ronald N. Young, Mayor of Frederick, defeated him 51%–49%.[15][16]

Committee assignments

In the Maryland State Senate, Mooney was a member of the Judicial Proceedings Committee, the Joint Committee on Investigation, the Joint Committee on Federal Relations, and the Education, Health and Environmental Affairs Committee. He served on the Maryland Rural Caucus, the Taxpayers Protection Caucus, and the Maryland Veterans Caucus.

Post-Senate career

Mooney in 2008
Mooney in 2008

Chair of the Maryland GOP

On December 11, 2010, Mooney was elected chair of the Maryland Republican Party. He was chair until early 2013.

2012 congressional election

Main article: 2012 United States House of Representatives elections in Maryland

Maryland's redistricting based on the 2010 census significantly redrew the boundaries of incumbent Roscoe Bartlett's 6th District. The district lost all of heavily Republican Carroll County, as well as some Republican-leaning parts of Baltimore, Frederick and Harford Counties, while gaining a heavily Democratic spur of Montgomery County.[17] In 2008, Barack Obama took 40% of the vote in the old 6th, but would have won 56% in the new 6th.[18] After creating an exploratory committee to challenge Bartlett in the Republican primary,[19] Mooney decided not to run against him.[20]

U.S. House of Representatives

Elections

2014

See also: 2014 United States House of Representatives elections in West Virginia § District 2

In March 2012, Mooney filed as a candidate in the 2014 Republican primary for Maryland's 6th congressional District. He subsequently had to withdraw his candidacy because he was still Bartlett's part-time outreach director at the time he filed to run. House ethics rules do not allow congressional staffers to remain employed in a congressional office while campaigning.[21][22]

Mooney subsequently moved to Charles Town, West Virginia, a small town on the state's eastern tip, and declared his candidacy for West Virginia's 2nd congressional district.[23] The district includes most of the West Virginia portion of the Washington media market. Seven-term Republican incumbent Shelley Moore Capito was giving up the seat to run for the United States Senate.[24] During his campaign, some West Virginia Democrats accused Mooney of being a carpetbagger since he had recently moved to West Virginia.[25]

Mooney received the Republican nomination on May 13, 2014, beating six other candidates. He finished first in 15 of the 17 counties in the congressional district, with 36.02% of the vote.[26]

Mooney defeated Democrat Nick Casey in the 2014 general election,[27] 47% to 44%. He won Berkeley County, in the state's Eastern Panhandle, by 5,000 votes, which was more than his overall margin of 4,900 votes. Like Charles Town, Berkeley is part of the Washington media market.[28] Mooney was also helped by long coattails from Capito, who carried every county in the state.[29]

Mooney became the first Latino elected to West Virginia's congressional delegation in the state's history.[5]

2016

See also: 2016 United States House of Representatives elections in West Virginia § District 2

Results by county, 2016
Results by county, 2016

In 2016, Mooney defeated Republican primary challenger Marc Savitt, 72.9%-27.1%.[30][31] In the general election, Mooney defeated Democratic state delegate Mark Hunt, 58.2%-41.8%.[32][33]

2018

See also: 2018 United States House of Representatives elections in West Virginia § District 2

In 2018, Mooney defeated former U.S. State Department official Talley Sergent, 53.9%-43.0%.[34]

2020

See also: 2020 United States House of Representatives elections in West Virginia § District 2

In 2020, Mooney defeated Republican primary challenger Matt Hann, 71.7%-28.3%. In the general election, he defeated energy policy analyst Cathy Kunkel, 63.1%-36.9%.[35]

2022

See also: 2022 United States House of Representatives elections in West Virginia § District 2

West Virginia lost a congressional seat as a result of the 2020 United States Census. The legislature divided the state into northern and southern districts, and abandoned its longtime practice of starting the numbering in the north, assigning the southern counties to the new 1st district. This placed 1st district Representative David McKinley and Mooney together in the new 2nd district, and both announced plans to run for reelection. Mooney won the Republican primary on May 10, 2022.[36]

Tenure

Mooney was sworn in on January 3, 2015. On March 26, 2015, he introduced H.R. 1644, the Supporting Transparent Regulatory and Environmental Actions in Mining Act (STREAM Act). The House passed the bill on January 19, 2016, by a vote of 235–188.[37]

Ethics investigations

In two May 2022 reports, the Office of Congressional Ethics determined that Mooney had "likely violated House rules and federal law" by accepting impermissible gifts and using official resources for personal purposes.[38] The reports found that Mooney and his family had accepted more than $10,800 from a company tied to Mooney on a vacation to Aruba; that Mooney had stayed at a Capitol Hill home owned by the same company's founders for free approximately 20 times from 2015 to 2021, using it for lodging, congressional business, and campaign events; that Mooney had regularly diverted official resources (including staff time) for personal and family matters, and sometimes for campaign activities; and that Mooney had "likely" provided false testimony and withheld evidence in the course of an OCE investigation against him.[38] The OCE transmitted the reports to the House Ethics Committee, which opened an investigation into Mooney's conduct.[38][39] Mooney denied any misconduct.[38]

Committee assignments

Caucus memberships

Political positions

Gold standard

Mooney supports a return to the gold standard.[43][44][45]

Foreign and military policy

Mooney was among 60 Republicans to oppose condemning Trump's action of withdrawing forces from Syria.[46] Along with Matt Gaetz and a handful of Republicans, Mooney broke with his party and voted to end assistance to Saudi Arabia in the War in Yemen.[47]

In 2021, Mooney was one of 14 Republican representatives to vote against a resolution condemning the Myanmar coup d'état. It was unclear why Mooney voted against the measure.[48]

In June 2021, Mooney was one of 49 House Republicans to vote to repeal the 2020 Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq.[49][50]

Marijuana policy

Mooney has a "B" rating from NORML for his voting record on cannabis-related matters.[51]

Immigration

Mooney voted against the Consolidated Appropriations Act (H.R. 1158), which effectively prohibits ICE from cooperating with Health and Human Services to detain or remove illegal alien sponsors of unaccompanied alien children (UACs).[52]

In 2022, NumbersUSA, which seeks to reduce both legal and illegal immigration, gave him a 98% score; in 2019–20, the Federation for American Immigration Reform, which also supports immigration controls, gave him a 100% rating.[53]

Attempts to overturn the 2020 presidential election result

In December 2020, Mooney was one of 126 Republican members of the House of Representatives to sign an amicus brief in support of Texas v. Pennsylvania, a lawsuit filed at the United States Supreme Court contesting the results of the 2020 presidential election, in which Joe Biden defeated[54] incumbent Donald Trump. The Supreme Court declined to hear the case on the basis that Texas lacked standing under Article III of the Constitution to challenge the results of an election held by another state.[55][56][57]

Mooney hiding in the House gallery, while holding a gas mask, during the 2021 storming of the United States Capitol.
Mooney hiding in the House gallery, while holding a gas mask, during the 2021 storming of the United States Capitol.

Mooney supported Texas v. Pennsylvania, a failed attempt to overturn the 2020 United States presidential election. In the days leading up to the 2021 United States Electoral College vote count, he said he had not decided whether he would vote to certify, choosing to decide on the House Floor after listening to debate.[58] Mooney did not support the objection to Arizona's electoral votes, which was sponsored by Senator Ted Cruz.[59] Mooney was in the House Chamber listening to the certification debate when Trump supporters stormed the United States Capitol. He hid in the gallery with other members of Congress before being removed to a safe place.[60]

After the Capitol was secure and Congress returned to certify the results, Mooney supported the objection to certifying Pennsylvania's electoral votes, as sponsored by Senator Josh Hawley. Mooney claimed that Pennsylvania violated election laws, ignored its constitution and that the "legislature was subverted."[59] In response to his decision, the Charleston Gazette-Mail editorial board charged him with "subverting democracy" and said that he and Representative Carol Miller were complicit in the Capitol attack by their unwavering support of Trump.[61]

On January 11, 2021, the Democrats introduced a resolution to call on Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the Twenty-fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution to remove Trump in response to the attack on the Capitol. When the resolution was presented, Mooney objected, saying that Congress "should not adopt a resolution of this magnitude without any debate on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives. It is wrong to have sent members of Congress home and then try to adopt without any debate a precedent-setting resolution that could imperil our Republic."[62]

Electoral history

West Virginia

West Virginia's 2nd congressional district: Results 2014–2020
Year Republican Votes Pct Democratic Votes Pct Third party Party Votes Pct Third party Party Votes Pct
2014 Alex Mooney 72,619 47.1% Nick Casey 67,687 43.9% Davy Jones Libertarian 7,682 5.0% Ed Rabel Independent 6,250 4.0%
2016 140,807 58.2% Mark Hunt 101,207 41.8%
2018 110,504 53.9% Talley Sergent 88,011 43.0% Daniel Lutz Mountain 6,277 3.1%
2020 172,195 63.1% Cathy Kunkel 100,799 36.9%

Maryland

Name Votes Percent Outcome
Ronald N. Young, Dem. 22,710 51.1% Won
Alex X. Mooney, Rep. 21,666 48.7% Lost
Other Write-Ins 75 0.2% Lost
Name Votes Percent Outcome
Alex X. Mooney, Rep. 21,844 51.9% Won
Candy O. Greenway, Dem. 20,111 47.8% Lost
Other Write-Ins 104 0.2% Lost
Name Votes Percent Outcome
Alex X. Mooney, Rep. 21,617 55.0% Won
C. Sue Hecht, Dem. 17,654 44.9% Lost
Other Write-Ins 66 0.2% Lost
Name Votes Percent Outcome
Alex X. Mooney, Rep. 18,399 56% Won
Ronald S. Bird, Dem. 14,212 44% Lost

See also

References

  1. ^ Wagner, John (February 9, 2013). "Alex X. Mooney announces resignation as Maryland GOP chairman" – via www.washingtonpost.com.
  2. ^ Dresser, Michael. "Defeats lead to calls for Maryland Republican chief's ouster". baltimoresun.com.
  3. ^ Wagner, John (April 21, 2013). "New Maryland GOP chairwoman Waterman seeks pickups in legislature" – via www.washingtonpost.com.
  4. ^
  5. ^ a b "West Virginia, the nation's least Hispanic state, elects its first Latino congressman". FOX News Latino. New York City, New York. November 4, 2014. Archived from the original on November 29, 2014. Retrieved November 6, 2014.
  6. ^ a b "Home". Mooney for Congress.
  7. ^ a b Van Buren, Eleanor (October 29, 2020). "Don't Throw Out Your Intern ID Badge. You May Want It When You're in Congress". Roll Call. Retrieved October 29, 2020.
  8. ^ "Ourcampaigns.com". Ourcampaigns.com. Retrieved July 16, 2014.
  9. ^ "Dartmouth Alumni". Trustees of Dartmouth College.
  10. ^ Gregg, John (January 22, 2008). "College Charter Bill Advances". The Valley News.
  11. ^ Desmon, Stephanie (October 21, 2002). "Frederick Senate race has harsh tone; 'Dirty' maneuvering marks contentious contest between Hecht, Mooney". The Baltimore Sun.
  12. ^ "Gubernatorial Primary – September 15, 1998". Washington County Board of Elections. 2014. Archived from the original on April 3, 2016. Retrieved July 16, 2014.
  13. ^ a b "2002 Gubernatorial General – Official Results". Maryland State Board of Elections. 2014. Retrieved July 16, 2014.
  14. ^ a b "Official 2006 Gubernatorial General Election results for State Senator". Maryland State Board of Elections. 2014. Retrieved July 16, 2014.
  15. ^ "2010 General Election Official Results". Maryland Local Board of Elections. 2014. Retrieved July 16, 2014.
  16. ^ "Ourcampaigns.com". Ourcampaigns.com. Retrieved July 16, 2014.
  17. ^ "Republicans Outnumber Dems Running for GOP Rep's Maryland Seat". Fox News. November 11, 2011.
  18. ^ Ford, C. Benjamin (November 18, 2011). "GOP candidates lining up to take on Bartlett". Gazette.Net. Archived from the original on November 22, 2011. Retrieved July 16, 2014.
  19. ^ Pershing, Ben (December 1, 2011). "State GOP chair Alex Mooney to challenge Roscoe Bartlett in primary". The Washington Post.
  20. ^ Pershing, Ben (January 10, 2012). "State GOP Chair Alex Mooney won't challenge Bartlett in primary". The Washington Post.
  21. ^ Pershing, Ben (September 20, 2012). "Bartlett aide, state GOP head Alex Mooney drops candidacy to comply with ethics rules". The Washington Post.
  22. ^ Kilar, Steve (September 22, 2012). "Bartlett aide admits he erred by not disavowing his own candidacy". The Baltimore Sun.
  23. ^ Ford, C. Benjamin (March 19, 2013). "Mooney's West Virginia move surprises Maryland GOP". Gazette.Net. Archived from the original on July 26, 2014. Retrieved July 16, 2014.
  24. ^ Messina, Lawrence (July 14, 2013). "2014 field growing in W.Va. federal races". Sunday Gazette-Mail.
  25. ^ Livington, Abby (July 10, 2014). "At the Races – Roll Call's Politics Blog West Virginia Newcomer Battles Carpetbagger Label". Roll Call. Retrieved October 20, 2014.
  26. ^ "Statewide Results: Primary Election – May 13, 2014". West Virginia Secretary of State. 2014. Retrieved July 16, 2014.
  27. ^ Walshe, Shushannah (May 13, 2014). "Tea Party's Alex Mooney Wins West Virginia GOP House Primary". ABC News. Retrieved July 16, 2014.
  28. ^ Vergaris, Brock (November 4, 2014). "GOP's Mooney wins W.Va. 2nd congressional seat". The Journal. Retrieved November 9, 2014.
  29. ^ "West Virginia Senate results -- 2014 Election Center -- Elections and Politics from CNN.com". CNN.
  30. ^ "Mooney faces 2nd District GOP challenger; 5 Dems square off". The Tampa Tribune. April 23, 2016. Retrieved April 29, 2016.
  31. ^ "NYT West Virginia Primary Results". The New York Times. Retrieved May 11, 2016.
  32. ^ "West Virginia U.S. House 2nd District Results: Alex Mooney Wins". The New York Times. November 16, 2016. Retrieved November 16, 2016.
  33. ^ "West Virginia Statewide Results General Election – November 8, 2016 Official Results". West Virginia Secretary of State. November 8, 2016. Archived from the original on December 25, 2016. Retrieved December 3, 2016.
  34. ^ "Election Night Reporting". results.enr.clarityelections.com. Retrieved November 21, 2021.
  35. ^ "Election Night Reporting". results.enr.clarityelections.com. Retrieved November 21, 2021.
  36. ^ "Alex Mooney wins Republican nomination for 2nd Congressional District". WSAZ News Channel 3. Retrieved May 10, 2022.
  37. ^ Mooney, Alexander X. (January 19, 2016). "Actions - H.R.1644 - 114th Congress (2015-2016): Supporting Transparent Regulatory and Environmental Actions in Mining Act". www.congress.gov. Retrieved June 1, 2021.
  38. ^ a b c d Chris Marquette, Rep. Alex Mooney 'likely violated House rules and federal law,' ethics office concludes, Roll Call (May 23, 2022).
  39. ^ Felicia Sonmez, Amy B Wang and Marianna Sotomayor, House Ethics Committee investigating Reps. Cawthorn, Jackson, Mooney, Washington Post (May 23, 2022).
  40. ^ "What is the House Freedom Caucus, and who's in it?". Pew research center. October 20, 2015. Retrieved October 26, 2017.
  41. ^ "Members". Congressional Western Caucus. Retrieved July 18, 2018.
  42. ^ "Member List". Republican Study Committee. Retrieved January 2, 2018.
  43. ^ Mooney, Alex (March 25, 2018). "Steel and Aluminum? Let's Talk About Gold". WSJ. Retrieved March 26, 2018.
  44. ^ Mooney, Alexander X. (May 25, 2021). "H.R.3526 - 117th Congress (2021-2022): To provide for the first true audit of gold owned by the United States in more than 65 years, and subsequent audits every 5 years". www.congress.gov. Retrieved June 1, 2021.
  45. ^ "U.S. Congressman Seeks Full Audit of America's Gold Reserves". finance.yahoo.com. Retrieved June 1, 2021.
  46. ^ Willis, Derek (August 12, 2015). "Opposes Withdrawal of U.S. Forces in... - H.J.RES.77: Opposing the decision to end certain United..." ProPublica.
  47. ^ "The Small But Brave Cadre of Conservative Anti-War Republicans". The American Conservative. November 19, 2019.
  48. ^ Diaz, Daniella; Wilson, Kristin (March 19, 2021). "14 House Republicans vote against a measure condemning military coup in Myanmar". CNN. Retrieved March 24, 2021.
  49. ^ "House votes to repeal 2002 Iraq War authorization". NBC News.
  50. ^ https://clerk.house.gov/evs/2021/roll172.xml[bare URL]
  51. ^ "Alex Mooney (R - WV)". Retrieved July 20, 2022.
  52. ^ "H.R. 1158: DHS Cyber Hunt and Incident Response Teams Act … -- House Vote #690 -- Dec 17, 2019".
  53. ^ "Alex Mooney's Ratings and Endorsements". Retrieved July 20, 2022.
  54. ^ Blood, Michael R.; Riccardi, Nicholas (December 5, 2020). "Biden officially secures enough electors to become president". AP News. Archived from the original on December 8, 2020. Retrieved December 12, 2020.
  55. ^ Liptak, Adam (December 11, 2020). "Supreme Court Rejects Texas Suit Seeking to Subvert Election". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on December 11, 2020. Retrieved December 12, 2020.
  56. ^ "Order in Pending Case" (PDF). Supreme Court of the United States. December 11, 2020. Archived (PDF) from the original on December 11, 2020. Retrieved December 11, 2020.
  57. ^ Diaz, Daniella. "Brief from 126 Republicans supporting Texas lawsuit in Supreme Court". CNN. Archived from the original on December 12, 2020. Retrieved December 11, 2020.
  58. ^ "West Virginia congressional delegation weigh in on Electoral College count". WCHS. January 6, 2021. Retrieved January 11, 2021.
  59. ^ a b Patterson, Janelle; Adams, Steven Allen (January 8, 2021). "Certification Vote Divides W.Va., Ohio Delegations". The Intelligencer. Retrieved January 11, 2021.
  60. ^ Morris, Jeff; Stowers, Shannon (January 6, 2021). "W.Va. congressional representative says he was equipped with 'escape hood'". WCHS. Retrieved January 11, 2021.
  61. ^ "Gazette-Mail editorial: Miller, Mooney wrong to try and thwart election". Charleston Gazette-Mail. January 8, 2021. Retrieved January 11, 2021.
  62. ^ "Mooney objects to Pelosi bid to invoke 25th Amendment on Trump by unanimous consent". WV News. January 11, 2021. Retrieved January 11, 2021.
  63. ^ "State Senate Results". Maryland State Board of Elections. Retrieved September 21, 2012.
  64. ^ "State Senate Results". Maryland State Board of Elections. Retrieved October 8, 2007.
Maryland Senate Preceded byJohn W. Derr Member of the Maryland Senatefrom the 3rd district 1999–2011 Succeeded byRonald N. Young Party political offices Preceded byAudrey Scott Chair of the Maryland Republican Party 2010–2013 Succeeded byDiana Waterman U.S. House of Representatives Preceded byShelley Moore Capito Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from West Virginia's 2nd congressional district 2015–present Incumbent U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial) Preceded byJohn Moolenaar United States representatives by seniority 220th Succeeded bySeth Moulton