Evan Jenkins (politician)

This article is about the U.S. politician. For other uses, see Evan Jenkins (disambiguation).

Evan Jenkins
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from West Virginia's 3rd district
Assumed office
January 3, 2015
Preceded by Nick Rahall
Member of the West Virginia Senate
from the 5th district
In office
December 1, 2002  December 1, 2014
Preceded by Marie Redd
Succeeded by Mike Woelfel
Personal details
Born (1960-09-12) September 12, 1960
Huntington, West Virginia, U.S.
Political party Republican (Before 1992,

Democratic (1992–2013)
Spouse(s) Elizabeth Weiler
Children 3
Alma mater University of Florida (BS)
Samford University (JD)
Website House website

Evan Hollin Jenkins (born September 12, 1960) is an American politician who has been the U.S. Representative for West Virginia's 3rd congressional district since 2015. He is a member of the U.S. House Committee on Appropriations.[1] He is a member of the Republican Party.

He is a U.S. Congressman, having defeated incumbent Nick Rahall in an election for the seat in the U.S. House of Representatives from West Virginia's 3rd congressional district in 2014.[2]

Jenkins was a member of the West Virginia Senate from the 5th District, which contains Cabell County and a small portion of Wayne County. He served in both chambers of the West Virginia Legislature in Charleston over the course of 20 years, having been elected as a member of the House in 1994, and elected to the Senate in 2002.[3]

Early life

Jenkins, a lifelong resident of Huntington, is the son of Dorothy C. Jenkins and the late John E. Jenkins, Jr.[4][5][6] He attended public schools.[5]

Jenkins earned his B.S. in Education/Business Administration from the University of Florida in 1983.[5][7] He went on to earn his J.D. from Cumberland School of Law in 1987.[7][8]

He was the Executive Director of the West Virginia State Medical Association, and taught business law as an instructor at Marshall University.[9][10] He is also the former Co-Chairman of the Health Care Committee in the West Virginia State Chamber of Commerce.[11]

West Virginia Legislature

Jenkins served on both sides of the legislature in Charleston, having first been elected as a member of the West Virginia House of Delegates in 1994.[3] He lost a race for the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia in 2000.[12]

Jenkins was then elected to the West Virginia State Senate in 2002, after defeating Democratic incumbent Marie Redd in the primary election and former State Senator Thomas Scott in the general election. In 2006, Jenkins once again defeated Redd in the primary election, and Scott in the general election (with 64% of the vote).[13] In 2010, Jenkins was again re-elected to the West Virginia State Senate, District 5, running unopposed in the general election.[14]

U.S. House of Representatives



In July 2013, Jenkins announced he was switching to the Republican Party in preparation for a run at West Virginia's 3rd congressional district seat, held by 19-term Democrat Nick Rahall. He had actually grown up as a Republican, but became a Democrat in 1992 prior to his run for the House of Delegates. On switching parties, Jenkins stated that: “West Virginia is under attack from Barack Obama and a Democratic Party that our parents and grandparents would not recognize."[15] West Virginia's 3rd district had long been a Democratic stronghold, but had been swept up in the growing Republican tide that had swept the state since the turn of the century. In 2012, it went for Mitt Romney 66-32 percent, making it the second-most Republican district in the nation to be represented by a Democrat.[16] Jenkins and Rahall had contributed to each other's campaigns in the decade's previous election cycles.[17]

Jenkins ran unopposed in the Republican primary.[18] He faced Rahall in the general election in November 2014. An early poll showed Jenkins with a double-digit lead over Rahall.[16]

The National Right to Life Committee, West Virginia Chamber of Commerce, and West Virginians for Life, all of which had previously supported Rahall, supported Jenkins in 2014, and the West Virginia Coal Association endorsed Jenkins in September 2014.[19][20] On October 2, managing editor Kyle Kondik of Sabato's Crystal Ball said the race was a toss-up, calling it "Super close, super expensive and super nasty."[21][22] Rahall outspent Jenkins in the election by a two-to-one ratio.[23]

In the general election, Jenkins defeated Rahall, taking 55% of the vote to 45% – the second-largest margin of defeat suffered by an incumbent in the 2014 cycle.[2][24] As a measure of how Democratic much of this district once was, when Jenkins took office on January 3, 2015, he became the first Republican to represent what is now the 3rd since 1957 (the district was numbered as the 4th before 1993), and the first Republican to represent most of the district's southern portion since 1933 (most of which was the 5th district before it was eliminated in 1973).[25][26][27] In addition, Jenkins' victory, along with those of Alex Mooney and David McKinley, meant that West Virginia had an all-Republican House delegation for the first time since 1923.


Jenkins will face Democratic candidate Matt Detch in the November, 2016 general election.[28]

Committee assignments

Political positions

Jenkins supports the repeal of Obamacare, and states that he would replace the law.[29] He also opposes federal cap and trade restrictions on coal emissions.[30] He feels that some Environmental Protection Agency regulations are too strict, such as those affecting the coal industry and the use of wood-burning stoves.[31][32] He believes that the primary role of the federal government is to provide for national defense, and supports maintaining the country "as the world’s pre-eminent military power".[33]

Personal life

Jenkins and his wife Elizabeth have three children, two sons and one daughter, who attend Cabell County schools.[5][7][34]


  1. "WV MetroNews – New Year, new Congress". wvmetronews.com. Retrieved February 5, 2015.
  2. 1 2 Timothy Cama. "Dem Rahall loses House seat after 38 years". TheHill.
  3. 1 2 Jim Workman (May 13, 2014). "Rahall, Jenkins set to face off in 3rd District Congressional Ra – WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports". Retrieved October 2, 2014.
  4. "Office Holders". West Virginia Republican Party. Retrieved October 2, 2014.
  5. 1 2 3 4 "W.Va. Senate 5". The Herald-Dispatch. Retrieved October 2, 2014.
  6. "Evan Jenkins (R-WV-3)". Tea Party Cheer. Retrieved October 2, 2014.
  7. 1 2 3 "Jenkins confirms run for Congress". The Herald-Dispatch. Retrieved October 2, 2014.
  8. "State Senator Evan Jenkins (Republican Party) – Knoxville Chamber". Retrieved October 2, 2014.
  9. "Longtime Dem Congressman Faces Tough 2014 Reelection Fight". The Huffington Post. May 3, 2014. Retrieved October 2, 2014.
  10. "WVSMA > About Us > Contact WVSMA Staff". Retrieved October 2, 2014.
  11. "Evan H. Jenkins (R – Cabell, 05)". West Virginia Legislature. Retrieved July 12, 2014.
  12. "Freshman Class Filled With Losers".
  13. "Final results for state, federal legislative races in W.Va.". Retrieved October 2, 2014.
  14. Chambers, Bryan (May 12, 2010). "Jenkins wins 3rd term in Senate". Herald-Dispatch. Retrieved July 12, 2014.
  15. Livingston, Abby (July 31, 2013). "Democrat Switches Parties to Challenge Rahall #WV03". Roll Call. Retrieved July 31, 2013.
  16. 1 2 Blake, Aaron (March 11, 2014). "GOP poll: Longtime Rep. Rahall (D-W.Va.) down double digits". Washington Post. Retrieved May 23, 2014.
  17. Boucher, Dave (July 30, 2013). "Nick Rahall, Evan Jenkins contributed to each other's campaigns". Charleston Daily Mail. Retrieved October 6, 2014.
  18. "Beard, McLaughlin win primary election". Retrieved October 2, 2014.
  19. "West Virginia Coal Association Endorses Evan Jenkins". Huntington News. Retrieved October 2, 2014.
  20. "Charleston Daily Mail – Jenkins receives national pro-life endorsement". Retrieved October 2, 2014.
  21. "Looking into the Crystal Ball". West Virginia Metro News. Retrieved October 3, 2014.
  22. "House Ratings". The Rothenberg Political Report. Retrieved October 3, 2014.
  23. ABC News. "Republicans Projected To Seize Control Of The Senate: 2014 Midterm Elections Results Live". ABC News.
  24. "West Virginia Election Results".
  25. Martis, Kenneth C. (1989). The Historical Atlas of Political Parties in the United States Congress. New York: Macmillan Publishing Company.
  26. Martis, Kenneth C. (1982). The Historical Atlas of United States Congressional Districts. New York: Macmillan Publishing Company.
  27. "Congressional Biographical Directory (CLERKWEB)". Archived from the original on April 23, 2010.
  28. "W.Va. features packed ballot for 2016 election". Herald Mail Media. Retrieved 2016-02-07.
  29. Sargent, Greg (March 27, 2014). "GOP repeal stance runs into complications, in deep red West Virginia". Washington Post. Retrieved July 12, 2014.
  30. Bastasch, Michael (June 4, 2014). "Forty-One Senators Push For Repeal Of Obama's Cap-And-Trade Rule". Daily Caller. Retrieved July 12, 2014.
  31. "Rep. Jenkins vows to keep heat on agency over new wood-burning regulations". Bluefield Daily Telegraph. March 9, 2015.
  32. "Jenkins cosponsors Spruce Mine Bill". Logan Banner. March 2, 2015.
  33. "Hot Air interview: Evan Jenkins, WV-3 candidate". HotAir.com. August 9, 2014.
  34. Jenkins, Evan (April 26, 2014). "Evan Jenkins: The nation desperately needs new leadership". Herald-Dispatch. Retrieved July 12, 2014.

External links

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Nick Rahall
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from West Virginia's 3rd congressional district

United States order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Will Hurd
United States Representatives by seniority
Succeeded by
John Katko
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