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2nd District GOP hopefuls trade barbs

CHARLES TOWN – Charlotte Lane says she’s the right person to replace Shelley Moore Capito in Congress rather than a Charles Town resident she described in a recent interview as “a carpetbagger from Maryland.”

[cleeng_content id=”671540018″ description=”Read it now!” price=”0.49″ t=”article”]Before moving here in 2013, 42-year-old Alex Mooney served in the Maryland state senate and as chairman of the state’s Republican party. He previously ran for office in New Hampshire.

“We need someone who puts West Virginia first,” said Lane, former state delegate from Kanawha County who previously chaired the Public Service Commission and was also appointed to the International Trade Commission by President George W. Bush. “There are several candidates in this race, and I am the only candidate who has a proven track record of representing West Virginia.”

Capito, a Republican first elected in 2000, opted not to pursue another term in the House in favor of seeking the U.S. Senate seat held since 1985 by Democrat Jay Rockfeller.

Mooney, whose children are home-schooled but attend some classes at Wright-Denny Elementary, accused Lane of attempting to distract voters from the issues, calling her statement “petty.”

“I’m proud of my decision to live here,” he said. “I think voters care about where you stand on the issues, not where you used to live.”

The deadline to file for the May primary comes Saturday.

Democrat Nick Casey, a Charleston lawyer who formerly headed the state Democratic Party, also has officially filed to run for Capito’s seat.

Republican Jim Moss, a Kanawha County native who works as a cost management specialist with Toyota in Putnam County, also has filed for the office. Several others have said they will run for the seat.

Mooney questioned Lane’s portrayal of herself as a conservative, pointing to The Charleston Gazette’s endorsement of her candidacy for attorney general back in 1996. The endorsement states: “She supports a woman’s right to choose abortion, opposes the death penalty, supports pistol controls and otherwise contradicts her party.”

In an email, Lane reiterated her characterization of Mooney as an outsider.

“It is clear he has only lived in West Virginia for a few months because I have been very open about my position on the issues,” she said. “Not only am I the most vocal critic of Obamacare and runaway federal spending, I’m also pro-life and I oppose restrictions on the rights of Americans to own firearms.”

As proof of their conservative bona fides, both point to attack ads launched against them by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

Mooney and Lane each said they support cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency, arguing the agency is killing jobs in the state through overregulation.

Lane, a Charleston lawyer who graduated from the West Virginia University College of Law in 1972, did cite the recent chemical spill in the Elk River, adding: “Obviously, what happened [Jan. 9] in Charleston needs to be looked at.”

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