On Tuesday, Rep. Alan Mollohan (D-WV) was defeated in his party’s primary by State Sen. Mike Oliverio:
Rep. Alan Mollohan, a 14-term incumbent, has been defeated by state Sen. Mike Oliverio in West Virginia’s Democratic primary, according to the Associated Press.
With 97 percent of the vote in, Oliverio led Mollohan 56 percent to 44 percent.
Mollohan’s decisive loss – a stunning rebuke for a veteran appropriator who has held his seat for nearly three decades - comes just days after Sen. Bob Bennett (R-Utah) lost his bid for renomination. Mollohan, the son of a congressman, had typically coasted in his re-election bids.
Oliverio had cast Mollohan as a creature of Washington and blasted the veteran incumbent over his ethics, repeatedly calling him “one of the most corrupt congressmen.”
Mollohan’s defeat had a lot to do with ethics, as he was named one of the most corrupt members of Congress for misusing his seat on the House Appropriations Committee, or as Jack Abramoff called it, “The Favor Factory,” handing out earmarks to friends and family.
All of the ads I’ve seen by Olivierio focused on ethics, however, Mollohan was also criticized by pro-life groups for his support of ObamaCare:
Mollohan also found himself under fire from his former allies in the pro-life movement, who targeted the veteran congressman over his support for the health care reform bill. The Susan B. Anthony List, a pro-life group, launched radio ads and robo-calls in the district targeting Mollohan during the primary. West Virginians for Life pulled their longtime support for him and endorsed Oliverio.