West Virginia's 1st congressional district

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West Virginia's 1st congressional district
West Virginia US Congressional District 1 (since 2013).tif
West Virginia's 1st congressional district - since January 3, 2013.
U.S. RepresentativeDavid McKinley (RWheeling)
Population (2010)615,991
Median income30,303
Cook PVIR+19[1]

West Virginia's 1st congressional district is located in the northern part of the state. It is the most regularly drawn of the state's three districts.

It includes the industrial Rust Belt area of the state's northern panhandle which includes the district's third largest city, Wheeling, as well as Fairmont, Clarksburg, and the college town of Morgantown, the home of the main campus of West Virginia University. The largest city in the district is Parkersburg; the second largest is Morgantown. It also includes many rural farm and timber producing areas. The district has almost no population change reported in the 2010 Census change relative to the other 2 districts, as growth around Morgantown and Parkersburg offset population loss elsewhere, and the district was carried over unchanged for the next ten-year cycle.

The district is currently represented by David McKinley, a Republican who has represented the district since 2011.

West Virginia has tended to give its congressmen very long tenures in Washington, and the 1st District is no exception. Only four men have represented the district since 1953: Bob Mollohan (D) (1953–1957), former Governor Arch Moore, Jr. (R) (1957–1969), Bob Mollohan again (1969–1983), Alan Mollohan (1983–2011) and McKinley.

Despite the lack of turnover in the congressional seat, historically the 1st was not safe for either party. The cities are ancestrally Democratic strongholds, while the rural areas are much more conservative and have a tendency to swing Republican more often. As late as 2014, state legislators were roughly split between both parties.

Historically, the district has been very Democratic, mirroring the state as a whole. However, West Virginia Democrats tend to be somewhat more socially conservative than their counterparts in the rest of the nation, and the district has been swept up in the growing Republican trend in the state at the national level. No Democrat since Bill Clinton (who did so by a plurality in a three-way race) has carried the 1st District in presidential elections. George W. Bush carried the district both times in 2000 with 54% of the vote and 2004 with 58% of the vote. John McCain carried the district in 2008 with 56.77% of the vote while Barack Obama received 41.51%.


The First District has always been anchored in Wheeling, and as such has always included Hancock, Brooke, Ohio, Marshall, and Wetzel counties[2]–the five counties usually reckoned as the Northern Panhandle. The original 1863 districting included also Tyler, Pleasants, Doddridge, Harrison, Ritchie, Wood, Wirt, Gilmer, Calhoun and Lewis counties.[2] It was essentially the successor of Virginia's 11th congressional district.

In 1882, the counties of Tyler, Doddridge, Harrison, Gilmer, Lewis and Braxton were added to the core counties.[2] In 1902, the core counties were joined by Marion, Harrison, and Lewis counties.[2] In the 1916 redistricting it included only the five core counties and Marion and Taylor.[2] The district was unchanged in the 1934 and 1954 redistrictings.[2] In 1962, Braxton, Calhoun, Doddridge, Gilmer, Harrison, Lewis, Marion and Taylor joined the five core counties.[2] The 1972 redistricting added Tyler, Pleasants, and Woods and deleted Taylor.[2] The 1982 redistricting added Taylor back to the district.[2]

1992 began the district as currently constituted, consisting of Barbour, Brooke, Doddridge, Grant, Hancock, Harrison, Marion, Marshall, Mineral, Monongalia, Ohio, Pleasants, Preston, Ritchie, Taylor, Tucker, Tyler, Wetzel and Wood counties.[2] In 2002 Gilmer was added.[2] For the election cycle that begins in 2012 the district was unchanged.[2]

List of representatives[edit]

Representative Party Years Electoral history
District created December 17, 1863
Jacob B. Blair.jpg Jacob B. Blair Unconditional Unionist December 17, 1863 –
March 3, 1865
Chester D. Hubbard.jpg Chester D. Hubbard Unconditional Unionist March 4, 1865 –
March 3, 1867
Lost re-election
Republican March 4, 1867 –
March 3, 1869
Isaac Harding Duval.jpg Isaac H. Duval Republican March 4, 1869 –
March 3, 1871
JohnJDavisWV.jpg John J. Davis Democratic March 4, 1871 –
March 3, 1875
BenjaminWilsonWV.jpg Benjamin Wilson Democratic March 4, 1875 –
March 3, 1883
Lost re-election
Nathan Goff, Jr. - Brady-Handy.jpg Nathan Goff Jr. Republican March 4, 1883 –
March 3, 1889
No image.svg John O. Pendleton Democratic March 4, 1889 –
February 26, 1890
Lost contested election
George W. Atkinson.gif George W. Atkinson Republican February 26, 1890 –
March 3, 1891
No image.svg John O. Pendleton Democratic March 4, 1891 –
March 3, 1895
Lost renomination
BlackburnBDoverner.jpg Blackburn B. Dovener Republican March 4, 1895 –
March 3, 1907
Lost renomination
No image.svg William P. Hubbard Republican March 4, 1907 –
March 3, 1911
John William Davis.jpg John W. Davis Democratic March 4, 1911 –
August 29, 1913
Resigned to become U.S. Solicitor General
Vacant August 29, 1913 –
October 14, 1913
Matthewneely.jpg Matthew M. Neely Democratic October 14, 1913 –
March 3, 1921
Lost re-election
BenjaminLRosenbloom.jpg Benjamin L. Rosenbloom Republican March 4, 1921 –
March 3, 1925
Retired to run for U.S. Senate
Carl G. Bachmann.jpg Carl G. Bachmann Republican March 4, 1925 –
March 3, 1933
Lost re-election
RobertLRamsay.jpg Robert L. Ramsay Democratic March 4, 1933 –
January 3, 1939
Lost re-election
No image.svg A. C. Schiffler Republican January 3, 1939 –
January 3, 1941
Lost re-election
RobertLRamsay.jpg Robert L. Ramsay Democratic January 3, 1941 –
January 3, 1943
Lost re-election
No image.svg A. C. Schiffler Republican January 3, 1943 –
January 3, 1945
Lost re-election
Matthewneely.jpg Matthew M. Neely Democratic January 3, 1945 –
January 3, 1947
Lost re-election
No image.svg Francis J. Love Republican January 3, 1947 –
January 3, 1949
Lost re-election
RobertLRamsay.jpg Robert L. Ramsay Democratic January 3, 1949 –
January 3, 1953
Lost renomination
Robert H. Mollohan.jpg Bob Mollohan Democratic January 3, 1953 –
January 3, 1957
Retired to run for Governor
Arch A. Moore, Jr..jpg Arch A. Moore Jr. Republican January 3, 1957 –
January 3, 1969
Retired to run for Governor
Robert H. Mollohan.jpg Bob Mollohan Democratic January 3, 1969 –
January 3, 1983
Alan Mollohan, official 109th Congress photo.jpg Alan Mollohan Democratic January 3, 1983 –
January 3, 2011
Lost renomination
Davidmckinley.jpg David McKinley Republican January 3, 2011 –
Elected in 2010

Historical district boundaries[edit]

2003 - 2013

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Partisan Voting Index – Districts of the 115th Congress" (PDF). The Cook Political Report. April 7, 2017. Retrieved April 7, 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l West Virginia Blue Book, pp. 534 (2012 edition)

Coordinates: 39°22′55″N 80°16′07″W / 39.38194°N 80.26861°W / 39.38194; -80.26861