Former state Delegate Mike Oliverio (D-W.Va.), who lost to U.S. Rep. David McKinley (R-W.Va.) by less than 1 percentage point in 2010, will seek a rematch, he announced Tuesday.
"Washington is broken, and Republicans like David McKinley are part of the problem," Oliverio said in a statement. "Since coming to power, McKinley and his friends have taken their eye off the number one priority in America — creating jobs.
"They have pushed a rigid partisan agenda that threatens our nation’s commitment to our seniors and future generations instead of focusing on putting people back to work. Rather than trying to end Medicare and jeopardize Social Security, the top priority of Washington politicians should be turning our economy around and creating jobs."
Oliverio beat then-Rep. Alan Mollohan (D-W.Va.) in a 2010 primary by running to the right of the longtime incumbent, who was facing charges of ethics violations. The district is fairly conservative and gave Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) 57 percent of its vote in 2008, but historically has elected conservative Democrats to local offices.
McKinley's campaign attacked Oliverio. "Mike Oliverio is just more of the same: a career politician who voted to raise his own pay and supports President Obama's job-killing policies," said McKinley Spokesman Andy Seré. "After running for higher office three times in the last decade and losing each race, Oliverio should realize by now that West Virginians know he is undeserving of a promotion."
But Oliverio disagrees with Obama on a number of issues including abortion rights and climate change legislation, and sought distance from President Obama in a Tuesday radio interview. "I've been very concerned with President Obama's job performance thus far and I think I've joined Sen. [Joe] Manchin [D-W.Va.] in terms of raising concerns about the president's lack of leadership," he said. "It's lacking at this point, it has not served the people of West Virginia well. I remain concerned about the efforts of our current president."