Former President Donald Trump has endorsed West Virginia Governor Jim Justice ahead of the Senate primary.
Justice is vying to take the seat currently held by Senator Joe Manchin, a Democrat who has not announced if he will seek a fourth term in office.
“Big Jim Justice, the Governor of the Great State of West Virginia (I LOVE WEST VIRGINIA!), is BIG in every way, but especially in his wonderful HEART,” wrote Trump on Truth Social.
“Strong on the Border, our Great Military & Vets, CLEAN COAL & Energy Dominance, the Economy, Stopping Inflation, & Protecting our 2nd Amendment, Big Jim will be a Great UNITED STATES SENATOR, and has my Complete & Total Endorsement,” Trump added. “HE WILL NEVER LET YOU DOWN!!!”
Justice and Trump have had a positive relationship for years. Justice, a billionaire coal executive who was first elected in 2016, announced at a 2017 rally headlined by Trump in Huntington that he was leaving the Democratic Party and would become a Republican.
“The Democrats walked away from me,” the governor told the crowd, per NPR.
Justice went on to praise Trump and his family, saying the New York native wasn’t a politician.
“This man is a good man,” he said. “He’s got a backbone. He’s got real ideas. He cares about America. He cares about us in West Virginia.”
Justice is one of three Republicans running for the United States Senate.
Congressman Alex Mooney launched his campaign in November. In his announcement video, Mooney called Manchin President Joe Biden’s “chief enabler.” Mooney is currently serving his fifth term in the House of Representatives.
Trump endorsed Mooney during his last reelection campaign.
“Representative Alex Mooney has done an outstanding job as Congressman in West Virginia. In fact, he recently opposed the horrendous Biden Administration’s ‘Non-Infrastructure’ plan, and he opposed the January 6th Committee, also known as the Unselect Committee of partisan hacks and degenerates,” said the former president in a statement, per The Hill.
“Alex has been strong on Crime, Borders, our great Military, and a champion of our Veterans,” Trump added. “He will always protect our Second Amendment, and of particular importance is the fact that Alex fights for energy and beautiful clean coal–and he will never stop.”
Senator Ted Cruz of Texas endorsed Mooney amid his Senatorial campaign.
“I’m proud to endorse Alex Mooney for the U.S. Senate in West Virginia,” Cruz told Fox News in April. “Alex is a friend, he’s a fighter and a strong conservative who will ferociously defend the Second Amendment, be a champion for American energy, prioritize bringing jobs to West Virginia, and faithfully and aggressively represent the values of the Mountain State in the Senate.”
West Virginia voters will go to the polls on May 14.