- Andrew Yang just endorsed Republican Rep. David McKinley of West Virginia.
- McKinley was one of the 13 Republicans that backed the infrastructure bill, and he voted for a Jan 6 commission.
- Trump endorsed Alex Mooney, another WV congressman who’s running against McKinley after WV lost a district.
Andrew Yang announced on Twitter Tuesday that he was endorsing Republican Rep. David McKinley of West Virginia.
The former New York City mayoral candidate and presidential candidate has moved on from the Democratic Party to found the Forward Party, his new issue-oriented group that he’s described as a solution to polarization and the two-party “duopoly” in the US.
“[McKinley] is a West Virginia Republican Congressman who supported cash relief and the infrastructure bill,” Yang wrote on Twitter. “He’s now running against a Trump-endorsed candidate. I’m supporting David and hope you will too.”
—Andrew Yang🧢⬆️🇺🇸 (@AndrewYang) November 23, 2021
Reached for comment, a spokeswoman for the Forward Party told Insider that Yang was personally endorsing the congressman.
“The Forward party has not yet endorsed any candidates,” said Laura Del Savio, the party’s senior communications strategist.
McKinley, who’s served in the House since 2011, is running against fellow incumbent Republican Rep. Alex Mooney after West Virginia lost a district as a result of the 2020 census. Former President Donald Trump endorsed Mooney earlier this month, citing his votes against both the bipartisan infrastructure bill and a bipartisan January 6 commission.
Two days earlier, Trump named McKinley as one of several “RINOs, sellouts, and known losers” that he would be backing primary challengers against.
—Liz Harrington (@realLizUSA) November 15, 2021
McKinley, on the other hand, was one of the 13 House Republicans that backed the infrastructure bill, and one of 35 Republicans that voted to establish a January 6 commission. That bill was killed by Republicans in the Senate, leading to the establishment of the select committee.
As Yang noted in his tweet, the West Virginia Republican also voted for bills that sent stimulus checks to Americans during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“America’s infrastructure has been in dire need of modernization and this bipartisan infrastructure bill is what community leaders from one panhandle to the other have expressed that West Virginia needs to restore our aging infrastructure,” McKinley said of his vote in favor of the infrastructure bill, which President Joe Biden signed into law last week.
Some on the right have sought to punish the 13 Republicans that voted for the infrastructure bill. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene posted their phone numbers on Twitter, leading to a torrent of threats, while former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said they should be stripped of their committee assignments.
Yang’s focus following his failed NYC mayoral bid has been on polarization and breaking what he describes as a dangerous set of incentives that accompany the nation’s two-party system.
“The dysfunction is going to kill us,” Yang wrote in his new book, explaining why he was starting a third party. “Worse, there’s no reason to think that it will change. The two sides will be trapped in a war that both sides win—they will still be hovering in one of the most affluent areas in the country trading power—but the people will lose.”
“Our leaders are rewarded based not on solving problems but on accruing resources and retaining office,” he also wrote.
Neither Yang nor McKinley responded to Insider’s requests for comment for this article.