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McKinley adds $154,000 to federal campaign account as decision on bid for governor looms

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CHARLESTON, West Virginia — While considering a bid for governor, Republican U.S. Rep. David McKinley started the year by adding almost $154,000 to his federal campaign account.

On Wednesday, McKinley and West Virginia's freshman Republican congressmen each posted six-figure hauls from January to March.

McKinley raised the least money of the three-member House delegation but ended with the best stocked bank account. Considering his easy road to re-election last year, McKinley had more cash leftover.

McKinley has almost $523,000 in his federal campaign account. Should he run for governor, he'll have a decision to make about how to use that money.

He would be prohibited from transferring all that money to a state campaign account.

The cash wouldn't be completely off-limits for the governor's race, however. McKinley could, for example, donate the money to political party committees or a third-party group like a super PAC and let them decide how to spend it in the race.

Democratic U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, who is considering a return run for governor, has the same options with $1.4 million in his account.

Another Republican considering running for governor, Attorney General Patrick Morrisey has $546,000 in a state campaign account, including a $250,000 self-loan. State Senate President Bill Cole rounds out the current possible GOP headliners for governor.

Senate Minority Leader Jeff Kessler and U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin are among the other Democrats who could run.

Rounding out the delegation, U.S. Rep. Evan Jenkins raised more than $201,000 and had almost $198,000 in his account, while U.S. Rep. Alex Mooney brought in $185,000 and finished with almost $115,000 in campaign cash.

In the 3rd Congressional District, Jenkins brought in almost $113,000 from various political action committees, a type of group he challenged former Democratic U.S. Rep. Nick Rahall to reject checks from during their 2014 race.

Political action committees, or PACs, often represent companies, interest groups or ideologies. They tend to donate heavily to incumbents.

PACs donated almost $54,000 to Mooney and about $84,000 to McKinley in the first quarter.

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