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David McKinley

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David McKinley
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from West Virginia's 1st district
In office
January 3, 2011 – January 3, 2023
Preceded byAlan Mollohan
Succeeded byAlex Mooney (redistricting)
Chair of the West Virginia Republican Party
In office
Preceded byHike Heiskell
Succeeded byJohn LeRose
Member of the West Virginia House of Delegates
from the 3rd district
In office
December 15, 1980 – December 1, 1994
Preceded byGeorge Daber
Succeeded byTal Hutchins
Greg D. Martin
Personal details
David Bennett McKinley

(1947-03-28) March 28, 1947 (age 77)
Wheeling, West Virginia, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
SpouseMary Gerkin
EducationPurdue University (BS)

David Bennett McKinley (born March 28, 1947) is an American businessman and politician who served as the U.S. representative for West Virginia's 1st congressional district from 2011 to 2023. A member of the Republican Party, McKinley was a member of the West Virginia House of Delegates from 1980 to 1994, and chaired the West Virginia Republican Party from 1990 to 1994.

McKinley is generally considered a moderate Republican. After West Virginia lost a House seat in the 2020 redistricting cycle, his district was merged with that of Representative Alex Mooney. McKinley lost to Mooney with 35.6% of the vote in the 2022 Republican primary.

Early life and education[edit]

McKinley was born in Wheeling, West Virginia. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in engineering from Purdue University in 1970.[1]

Early career[edit]

McKinley worked as a civil engineer for 12 years until founding his own firm, McKinley and Associates, based in Wheeling. The 40-member firm has been involved in $1 billion in construction projects over the past 30 years.[2]

McKinley has renovated structures of historic significance in West Virginia communities, such as the Capitol Theatre in Wheeling.[3]

McKinley was a member of the West Virginia House of Delegates from 1980 to 1994.[4][5][6] From 1990 to 1994, he chaired the West Virginia Republican Party. As chair, he was very critical of West Virginia's two Democratic U.S. senators. In 1991, he criticized Senator Jay Rockefeller for exploring a run for president against President George H. W. Bush.[7] In 1994, he criticized Senator Robert Byrd for opposing a Balanced Budget Amendment.[8]

In 1996, McKinley ran in the Republican primary for governor against astronaut Jon McBride and former governor Cecil Underwood. He came in third place; Underwood won the general election.[9]

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]


West Virginia's 1st congressional district: Results 2010–2020
Year Republican Votes Pct Democratic Votes Pct
2010 David McKinley 90,660 50.4% Mike Oliverio 89,220 49.6%
2012 133,809 62.5% Sue Thorn 80,342 37.5%
2014 92,491 64.0% Glen Gainer III 52,109 36.0%
2016 163,469 69.0% Mike Manypenny 73,534 31.0%
2018 127,997 64.6% Kendra Fershee 70,217 35.4%
2020 180,488 69.0% Natalie Cline 81,177 31.0%


McKinley ran in West Virginia's 1st congressional district. The Democratic incumbent, Alan Mollohan, lost the Democratic primary to the more conservative State Senator Mike Oliverio.[10] McKinley won the six-candidate Republican primary with 35% of the vote. Mac Warner ranked second with 27% of the vote and State Senator Sarah Minear ranked third with 21%.[11]

McKinley received many endorsements during his campaign, including from Parkersburg News,[12] National Right to Life,[13] the West Virginians for Life PAC,[13] the National Federation of Independent Business,[14] House Republicans Fund,[15] West Virginia Farm Bureau,[16] and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.[17]

McKinley narrowly defeated Oliverio, 50.4%–49.6%, a difference of just 1,440 votes.[18][19] He became only the fourth person to represent the district since 1953.[citation needed]


McKinley ran for reelection in the newly redrawn 1st district. He defeated Democratic nominee Sue Thorn, a former community organizer, 62%–38%, winning every county in the district.[20]


In 2013, McKinley announced that he would not run for the open U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Jay Rockefeller in 2014.[21][22]

McKinley defeated the Democratic nominee, West Virginia State Auditor Glen Gainer III, 64%–36%.[23]


2016 election results

In 2016, McKinley defeated former State Delegate Mike Manypenny, 69%–31%.[24]


In 2018, McKinley defeated West Virginia University law professor Kendra Fershee, 64.6%–35.4%.[25]


In 2020, McKinley defeated computational linguist Natalie Cline 69%–31%.[26]


As a result of the 2020 United States Census and the 2020 redistricting cycle, the West Virginia 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 resulted in McKinley and 2nd district Representative Alex Mooney being together in the new 2nd district, and both incumbents declared their intention to run in the district.[27]

In a race that received nationwide attention, Mooney defeated McKinley in the Republican primary on May 10 even though the new district was geographically more McKinley's district. Donald Trump endorsed Mooney before the election, and McKinley, who has been ranked as one of the most bipartisan members of Congress, was criticized for holding moderate views.[28][29]


McKinley has broken ranks with the Republican majority several times in his tenure in Congress. In April 2011, he was one of only four Republican members of Congress to vote against the Republican budget proposal of 2012.[30] He said, "As it relates to the Medicare, I applaud what Paul Ryan was trying to do, because we need to have an adult conversation about it. The Congressional Budget Office determined that some of the out-of-pocket costs could double for seniors and that sent up a red flag for me that we need to look at it."[citation needed]

McKinley was ranked the 22nd most bipartisan member of the House during the 114th United States Congress (and the most bipartisan House member from West Virginia) by the Bipartisan Index created by The Lugar Center and the McCourt School of Public Policy, which ranks members of Congress by their degree of bipartisanship (by measuring how often each member's bills attract co-sponsors from the opposite party and each member co-sponsors bills by members of the opposite party).[31]

Political positions[edit]


McKinley is an active supporter of the Coal Miner Employment and Domestic Energy Infrastructure Protection Act. Also known as the Stop the War on Coal Act, it aims to protect American jobs and prevent legislation that would reduce mining jobs. McKinley has said, "The constant attacks on coal have to stop."[32]

McKinley was one of 233 representatives in favor of the act, which passed in September 2012. He said, "Our job creators need a consistent and predictable regulatory program that will protect jobs we have and create new one."[33] On November 5, 2021, McKinley was one of 13 House Republicans to break with their party and vote with a majority of Democrats in favor of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.[34] On July 28, 2022, McKinley was one of 24 House Republicans to break with their party and vote with a majority of Democrats in favor of the CHIPS and Science Act.[35]

In October 2011, McKinley was the only Republican freshman to vote against all three of the trade deals passed by Congress: Panama, Colombia, and South Korea.[36] He said, "Free trade deals like NAFTA and CAFTA have been nothing more than broken promises that shipped our jobs overseas, and I won’t vote for any free trade agreements unless they’re fair to my constituents."[37]

McKinley has expressed concern about the United States' "unchecked spending", which he says results in being "beholden to countries like China and Japan who own a significant amount of our debt".[38]

Gun control[edit]

McKinley is a strong supporter of the notion that people should be allowed to carry a concealed weapon. He has been consistent in his voting patterns on gun control and continued this trend when voting yes on Requiring State Reciprocity for Carrying Concealed Firearms. He received an “A” rating from the NRA Political Victory Fund. In 2012 the NRA was one of McKinley's main endorsers.[citation needed]


McKinley opposes abortion rights. He believes "[t]he use of federal funds to pay for ending the life of an unborn child is appalling", even though federal funds are not used to pay for abortions, per the Hyde Amendment. He voted for the District of Columbia Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act in July 2012, which did not pass. This act would have prohibited abortion in the District of Columbia. The National Right to Life Committee gave McKinley a 100% rating on abortion issues from 2011 to the present.[39]

Climate change[edit]

On May 23, 2013, McKinley introduced the Better Buildings Act of 2014. The bill would amend federal law aimed at improving the energy efficiency of commercial office buildings.[40] It would create a program called "Tenant Star" similar to the existing Energy Star program.[41] He argued in favor of the bill, saying, "finding ways to use energy efficiently is common sense. We ought to be promoting efficiency as a way to save energy, money and create jobs."[42]

In May 2014, McKinley offered an amendment to the Howard P. "Buck" McKeon National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2015 that bars the Department of Defense from using funds to assess climate change and its implications for national security.[43]

In January 2020, McKinley and Representative Kurt Schrader co-authored an opinion piece for USA Today on climate change. It read in part, "climate change is the greatest environmental and energy challenge of our time, and our government is failing to meet it. Instead of energy policy that lurches in a different direction after every election cycle, we need a new approach to develop realistic solutions that will enjoy support from both parties in Congress. Setting a steady course would be far better for both industry and the environment." The piece also called for "policies that will make clean energy technologies for all fuels affordable—solar, wind, hydro and other renewables, as well as nuclear, carbon capture for fossil fuels, energy efficiency, storage, and other technologies that will make the grid more secure, resilient, and affordable."[44]

January 6 commission[edit]

On May 19, 2021, McKinley was one of 35 Republicans who joined all Democrats in voting to approve legislation to establish the January 6 commission meant to investigate the storming of the U.S. Capitol.[45]


On November 30, McKinley was the only West Virginia representative to vote for H.R. 550: Immunization Infrastructure Modernization Act of 2021. The bill helps create confidential, population-based databases that maintain a record of vaccine administrations.[46]

LGBT rights[edit]

In 2015, McKinley was one of 60 Republicans voting to uphold President Barack Obama's 2014 executive order banning federal contractors from making hiring decisions that discriminate based on sexual orientation or gender identity.[citation needed]

Committee assignments[edit]

Caucus memberships[edit]

Personal life[edit]

McKinley is a seventh-generation resident of Wheeling, West Virginia. He has four children and six grandchildren. His wife, Mary, has been a critical care nurse for 39 years. She holds a master's degree in nursing.[3]


  1. ^ "An Engineer Goes to Washington". Lyles School of Civil Engineering - Purdue University. Retrieved 2022-05-02.
  2. ^ "Past Projects". McKinley & Associates. Archived from the original on January 4, 2014. Retrieved December 29, 2012.
  3. ^ a b "David McKinley profile". Archived from the original on January 13, 2011. Retrieved January 11, 2011.
  4. ^ McNulty, Timothy (2010-10-11). "Democrat tries to hold on in W.Va. House race". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
  5. ^ West Virginia 65th Legislature (1981). Acts of the Legislature of West Virginia (PDF) (Report). West Virginia House Clerk. p. xviii. Retrieved 2023-08-28.{{cite report}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  6. ^ "Our Campaigns - WV State House 03 Race - Nov 03, 1992".
  7. ^ "Point Pleasant Register". Retrieved January 8, 2015.
  8. ^ "Williamson Daily News – Google News Archive Search". Retrieved January 8, 2015.
  9. ^ Toner, Robin (May 14, 1996). "Political briefs; The states and the issues". The New York Times.
  10. ^ "WV SOS – Elections". Apps.sos.wv.gov. May 11, 2010. Retrieved October 23, 2010.
  11. ^ "Our Campaigns – WV District 1 – R Primary Race". Ourcampaigns.com. May 11, 2010. Retrieved January 8, 2015.
  12. ^ "David McKinley – Parkersburg News and Sentinel". NewsandSentinel.com. April 19, 2010. Retrieved October 23, 2010.
  13. ^ a b "Pro-Life Group Supports McKinley". Theintelligencer.net. Archived from the original on February 22, 2013. Retrieved January 8, 2015.
  14. ^ "NFIB-endorsed candidates for federal and state elections". Nfib.com. Retrieved October 23, 2010.
  15. ^ "House conservatives fund". Houseconservatives.com. Archived from the original on November 19, 2010. Retrieved October 23, 2010.
  16. ^ "West Virginia Farm Bureau". Wvfarm.org. Retrieved October 23, 2010.
  17. ^ "International brotherhood of electrical workers". Ibew.org. Archived from the original on November 25, 2010. Retrieved October 23, 2010.
  18. ^ Miller, Tom (November 6, 2010). "Election showed modest gains for GOP in W.Va". The Herald-Dispatch.
  19. ^ "Our Campaigns – WV – District 01 Race". Ourcampaigns.com. November 2, 2010. Retrieved January 8, 2015.
  20. ^ "Our Campaigns – WV – District 01 Race". Ourcampaigns.com. November 6, 2012. Retrieved January 8, 2015.
  21. ^ Livingston, Abby (February 25, 2013). "McKinley Opts Not to Run Against Capito". RollCall.com. Roll Call. Archived from the original on March 3, 2013. Retrieved March 2, 2013.
  22. ^ "McKinley won't take on Capito in 2014 Senate race". The Charleston Gazette. February 22, 2013. Retrieved December 31, 2014.
  23. ^ "West Virginia Statewide Results General Election – November 4, 2014 Official Results". West Virginia Secretary of State. November 4, 2014. Retrieved January 8, 2015.
  24. ^ "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.
  25. ^ "Election Night Reporting". results.enr.clarityelections.com. Retrieved 2021-11-21.
  26. ^ "Election Night Reporting". results.enr.clarityelections.com. Retrieved 2021-11-21.
  27. ^ "West Virginia lawmakers settle on a north-south congressional map, opening up McKinley vs Mooney". 14 October 2021.
  28. ^ Moore, Elena (2022-05-10). "3 primary contests to watch Tuesday in West Virginia and Nebraska". NPR. Retrieved 2022-05-11.
  29. ^ "The Lugar Center - McCourt School of Bipartisan Index". The Lugar Center. Retrieved 11 May 2022.
  30. ^ "Final vote results for roll call 277". Clerk of the House of Representatives. 2011-04-15. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
  31. ^ The Lugar Center - McCourt School Bipartisan Index (PDF), The Lugar Center, March 7, 2016, retrieved April 30, 2017
  32. ^ "Congressman David McKinley". Mckinley.house.gov. Archived from the original on June 4, 2015. Retrieved January 8, 2015.
  33. ^ "Congress.gov". Thomas.loc.gov. Archived from the original on August 30, 2015. Retrieved January 8, 2015.
  34. ^ Annie Grayer (6 November 2021). "These 6 House Democrats voted against the infrastructure bill. These 13 Republicans voted for it". CNN. Retrieved 2021-11-06.
  35. ^ Axios (28 July 2022). "24 House Republicans defy leadership to vote for chips bill". Axios. Retrieved 2021-11-06.
  36. ^ "Trade Votes Signal GOP Evolution". Rollcall.com. Retrieved January 8, 2015.
  37. ^ Kevin Bogardus (18 October 2011). "Tea Party buys in to trade". TheHill. Retrieved January 8, 2015.
  38. ^ "Election Candidate Profile". Election Candidates. Retrieved July 27, 2012.
  39. ^ "Candidate Ratings: David McKinley". National Right to Life Committee. Retrieved 11 April 2021.
  40. ^ "CBO – H.R. 2126". Congressional Budget Office. 20 February 2014. Retrieved March 3, 2014.
  41. ^ Howard, Bryan (January 30, 2014). "House committee clears important legislation for commercial tenants". U.S. Green Building Council. Retrieved March 4, 2014.
  42. ^ "House committee approves 'Better Buildings Act'". American Chemistry. January 30, 2014. Retrieved March 4, 2014.
  43. ^ "House Directs Pentagon To Ignore Climate Change". The Huffington Post. 23 May 2014. Retrieved January 8, 2015.
  44. ^ Innovation and regulation can curb climate change. We need bipartisan support for both.
  45. ^ LeBlanc, Paul (May 19, 2021). "Here are the 35 House Republicans who voted for the January 6 commission". CNN. Retrieved May 19, 2021.
  46. ^ "H.R. 550: Immunization Infrastructure Modernization Act of 2021 -- House Vote #388 -- Nov 30, 2021".
  47. ^ "Member List". Republican Study Committee. Archived from the original on 1 January 2019. Retrieved 21 December 2017.
  48. ^ "Our Members". U.S. House of Representatives International Conservation Caucus. Archived from the original on 1 August 2018. Retrieved 4 August 2018.
  49. ^ "Membership". Congressional Arts Caucus. Archived from the original on 12 June 2018. Retrieved 21 March 2018.
  50. ^ "MEMBERS". RMSP. Retrieved 2021-03-01.
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External links[edit]

West Virginia House of Delegates
Preceded by
George W . Daber
Member of the West Virginia House of Delegates
from the 3rd district

Served alongside: Thais Blatnik, John M. Karras, Paul J. Otte, Bill Reger, Andy Katz, Greg D. Martin, L. Gil White
Succeeded by
Tal Hutchins
Greg D. Martin
Party political offices
Preceded by Chair of the West Virginia Republican Party
Succeeded by
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from West Virginia's 1st congressional district

Succeeded by
U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded byas Former US Representative Order of precedence of the United States
as Former US Representative
Succeeded byas Former US Representative