PARKERSBURG — Asked about working with Democrats if elected to Congress after serving in West Virginia’s Republican supermajority government, state Treasurer Riley Moore minced no words.
“I plan on defeating them,” he said in an interview this week while visiting Parkersburg. “That’s what I’m going there to do. I think they’re destroying the country.”
In the final year of a four-year term as West Virginia’s chief financial officer, Moore is vying to be the party’s nominee for the 2nd Congressional District with Hedgesville resident Nate Cain, Bridgeport veteran Joe Earley, Elkins resident Alexander Gaaserud and retired Brig. Gen. Chris “Mookie” Walker. The lone Democrat to file for the seat is Lost River resident Steven Wendelin, a retired U.S. Navy commander.
The seat is now held by Rep. Alex Mooney, R-W.Va., who is running for the Senate.
The treasurer’s office deals primarily with fiscal policy and issues, while “members of Congress have the ability to touch on just about everything,” Moore said. He cited his support of a law intended to keep the state from investing in funds based on factors related to environmental, social and corporate governance as an example of his conservative credentials in that arena. He also touted his endorsement by West Virginians for Life and A rating from the National Rifle Association.
“I had one of the most conservative voting records in the House of Delegates,” said Moore, who represented Jefferson County for a term before being elected treasurer in 2020. “I think that’s why I won as treasurer.”
He said he would support legislation to eliminate the U.S. Department of Education and return its money to the states for initiatives like funding for private or home schooling. There is a “massive culture of indoctrination right now in the public education system” in parts of the country, Moore said.
He advocates doing more to incentivize non-college career paths, including establishing a national version of West Virginia’s Jumpstart program, which allows people going into a vocational or trade job to save money to use toward the costs of work equipment, occupational licensing, certifications and startup costs.
Moore said he supports a ban on transgender surgery for minors.
“I think it’s child abuse, and I think it’s wrong,” Moore said.
The U.S. needs to take steps such as raising tariffs on Chinese steel and limiting technological exports to China to improve its economic position in relation to the Communist country, he said.
“They’re taking advantage of us. We’re just shipping jobs over there,” Moore said.
The southern border must also be addressed, he said, including increased funding for security, “a hardened border, and we need to finish the wall.”
After campaigning for statewide office four years ago, Moore only has to cover 27 counties in the new 2nd Congressional District. He plans to visit them all.
“I love campaigning,” he said. “I love getting out and talking to people … listening to them. What’s going on in their lives?”
Evan Bevins can be reached at email@example.com