Former Maryland GOP chairman wins nomination for Congress in W.Va.

Former Maryland Republican Party chairman Alex Mooney won the GOP nomination for Congress on Tuesday in a different state: West Virginia.

The tea party-backed candidate defeated a crowded GOP field in the primary for Senate candidate Rep. Shelley Moore Capito's (R-W.Va.) seat. He will be the favorite to succeed her given the district's conservative lean. The Associated Press has called the race in his favor.

Mooney served as a Maryland state senator from 1999 and 2011 and was state GOP chairman after losing reelection in 2010.

He has also previously run for the New Hampshire state House of Representatives and created an exploratory committee to run for Congress in Maryland in 2012, before opting against it.

In the general election, he will face another former state party chairman, Nick Casey, who was head of the West Virginia Democratic Party. Democrats are hoping to target the seat, which the Cook Political Report rates as "lean Republican."

Aaron Blake covers national politics and writes regularly for The Fix.

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