CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — The latest legal setbacks for former President Donald Trump have people wondering if Trump has become toxic to the Republican Party or if backers will stick with him. The quick answer to that question is, “Well, it depends upon who you ask.”
On Tuesday President Trump lost a civil lawsuit that accused him of sexual assault and defamation. He must pay the woman who sued him, $5 million. Weeks ago he was charged with criminal counts over business practices, and he remains under investigation for the Jan. 6, 2021, riots at the U.S. Capitol.
While Democrats say other Republicans should bail on Trump endorsements, all Republicans in the Kentucky governor’s race stood by Trump in Tuesday night’s debate.
“I am honored to have President Trump’s endorsement. I do know that Alvin Bragg in New York has weaponized the political system and the judicial system to try to destroy President Trump, but he has endorsed my campaign for governor,” said Atty. Gen. Daniel Cameron, (R) Candidate for Kentucky Governor.
“I am the only one who has defended Donald Trump, and as you are witnessing tonight, the only one who will continue to defend Donald Trump. He saved this country, and I look forward to him being president in 2024,” said Eric Deters, (R) Candidate for Kentucky Governor.
“I am not basing my campaign for Governor off of the endorsement for President Trump. I am basing my campaign off the endorsement of over 230 elected Republican officials,” said Agriculture Comm. Ryan Quarles, (R) Candidate for Kentucky Governor.
A key Democrat in neighboring West Virginia found the candidate’s support for Trump disappointing.
“After all of this, I think it’s time for my colleagues on the Republican side of the aisle, to stand for something and distance themselves from this behavior,” said Del. Mike Pushkin, (D) Kanawha and WV Democratic Party Chairman. “What I find really disheartening is just the lack of courage on the Republican side. At some point they need to stand up and distance themselves from this. But I am not holding my breath.”
In the West Virginia U.S. Senate primary both Republican Governor Jim Justice and Republican Congressman Alex Mooney have said in the past they would welcome an endorsement from former President Trump.
With that in mind, we reached out to the Justice and Mooney campaigns Wednesday, to see if they would still want an endorsement from Trump. The Mooney and Justice campaigns said they both stand with Trump and would accept his endorsement.
A statement emailed from the Mooney campaign said, “I have endorsed President Trump, and I would be honored to receive his endorsement.”
A statement emailed from the Justice campaign said, “Governor Justice continues to stand with President Trump and seek his endorsement. He believes now more than ever we need President Trump’s leadership to secure the Southern Border, reign in inflation and costs, and restore law and order in our country. He is proud to stand with President Trump and seek his endorsement for U.S. Senate.”