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Evan Jenkins (politician)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Evan Jenkins
Evan Jenkins official congressional photo.jpg
Chief Justice of the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals
In office
January 1, 2021 – December 31, 2021
Preceded byTim Armstead
Succeeded byJohn A. Hutchison
Justice of the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals
In office
October 1, 2018 – February 4, 2022
Appointed byJim Justice
Preceded byRobin Davis
Succeeded byC. Haley Bunn
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from West Virginia's 3rd district
In office
January 3, 2015 – September 30, 2018
Preceded byNick Rahall
Succeeded byCarol Miller
Member of the West Virginia Senate
from the 5th district
In office
December 1, 2002 – December 1, 2014
Preceded byMarie Redd
Succeeded byMike Woelfel
Member of the West Virginia House of Delegates
from the 16th district
In office
December 1, 1994 – December 1, 2000
Serving with Jody Smirl, Susan Hubbard
Preceded byStephen T. Williams
Succeeded byDale Stephens
Personal details
Evan Hollin Jenkins

(1960-09-12) September 12, 1960 (age 61)
Huntington, West Virginia, U.S.
Political partyRepublican (before 1992, 2013–present)
Other political
Democratic (1992–2013)
Spouse(s)Elizabeth Weiler
EducationUniversity of Florida (BS)
Samford University (JD)

Evan Hollin Jenkins (born September 12, 1960) is an American politician and judge. He served as a justice of the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia, joining the Court in 2018 and serving as chief justice in 2021. He resigned from the court on February 4, 2022. He served as a U.S. Representative from West Virginia from 2015 to 2018. He is a Republican, having switched his party affiliation from Democratic in 2013.[1]

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.[2] He gave up his seat to run in the 2014 congressional election, defeating incumbent Democrat Nick Rahall.[3]

Jenkins was a candidate for the U.S. Senate in 2018, losing to West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey in the primary election.[4]

Early life and education

Jenkins, a lifelong resident of Huntington, is the son of Dorothy C. Jenkins and the late John E. Jenkins Jr.[5][6][7] He attended public schools.[6]

Jenkins earned his B.S. in education and business administration from the University of Florida in 1983.[6][8] He went on to earn his Juris Doctor from Samford University Cumberland School of Law in 1987.[8][9]

Early career

He was the executive director of the West Virginia State Medical Association, and taught business law as an instructor at Marshall University.[10] He is also the former Co-Chairman of the Health Care Committee in the West Virginia State Chamber of Commerce.[11] He formerly served as general counsel of the West Virginia State Chamber of Commerce.[12]

West Virginia Legislature

Jenkins served on both sides of the legislature in Charleston as a member of the Democratic Party, having first been elected as a member of the West Virginia House of Delegates in 1994.[2] He lost a race for the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia in 2000.[13]

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).[14] In 2010, Jenkins was again re-elected to the West Virginia State Senate, District 5, running unopposed in the general election.[15]

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.[1] 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."[16] West Virginia's 3rd district had long been a Democratic stronghold on the congressional level, but had been swept up in the growing Republican tide that had consumed 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.[17] Jenkins and Rahall had contributed to each other's campaigns in the decade's previous election cycles.[18]

Jenkins ran unopposed in the Republican primary.[19] He faced Rahall in the general election in November 2014. An early poll showed Jenkins with a double-digit lead over Rahall.[17]

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.[20][21] 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."[22][23] Rahall outspent Jenkins in the election by a two-to-one ratio.[24]

In the general election, Jenkins defeated Rahall, taking 55% of the vote to 45% — the second-largest margin of defeat for a House incumbent in the 2014 cycle.[3][25] 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).[26][27][28] 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.

Map showing the results of the 2016 election in West Virginia's third congressional district by county
Map showing the results of the 2016 election in West Virginia's third congressional district by county

Jenkins defeated Democratic candidate Matt Detch[29] in the November 2016 general election with 67.9% of the vote.[30]


Jenkins was a member of the Republican Main Street Partnership.[31]

Committee assignments

Caucus memberships

2018 U.S. Senate election

On May 8, 2017, Jenkins announced his intention to run for the United States Senate seat held by Joe Manchin.[34] His main competitor for the Republican nomination was state Attorney General Patrick Morrisey. On May 8, 2018, exactly one year after announcing his bid for the Republican nomination, Jenkins lost the primary, coming in second place to Morrisey.[4][35]

Political positions

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)

On September 5, 2017, President Trump formally rescinded the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. DACA allows certain undocumented immigrants who entered the United States as children to receive a renewable two-year period of deferred action from deportation and eligibility for a work permit. Jenkins supported Trump's decision. Jenkins said, “President Obama overstepped his constitutional authority by creating the DACA program through an executive order. We are a nation of laws and have a responsibility to secure our borders."[36]


Jenkins feels that some Environmental Protection Agency regulations are too strict, such as those affecting the coal industry and the use of wood-burning stoves.[37][38] He supported President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement, saying: "The Paris accord puts the United States on an uneven playing field, forcing us to make costly reductions, all while countries like China and India make their own rules."[39]

Health care

In May 2017, Jenkins voted for the American Health Care Act (AHCA), the Republican bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare),[40][41][42] saying that he supported "coverage for pre-existing conditions, mental health care and substance abuse treatment... Under this legislation, West Virginia would have a choice about what will work best for us."[41] Later in June 2017, Jenkins said that while AHCA allowed states to opt out of the requirement that insurers not discriminate against individuals with preexisting conditions and the requirement that insurers provide "essential health benefits", he did not want West Virginia to seek waivers from those requirements.[43] Asked about the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office's estimate that 23 million Americans would lose their insurance under AHCA, Jenkins questioned the accuracy of the CBO's prediction and said that the numbers failed to account for people who will get insurance due to economic growth.[43][dead link]

Opioid crisis

In August 2017, Jenkins discussed the issue of the opioid crisis with President Trump on Air Force One on the ride back to Washington after Trump spoke at the National Boy Scout Jamboree. As a member of the House Appropriations Committee, Jenkins said the issue is important to him. He worked to help get hundreds of millions of dollars for treatment, law enforcement and drug courts. Jenkins said, "In addition, I helped authorize the full $1.6 billion President Trump requested for the southern border wall, which will help stop the flow of black tar heroin into the United States."[44]

West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals

On September 30, 2018, Jenkins resigned from Congress after having been appointed as a justice of the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia by West Virginia Governor Jim Justice.[45] Jenkins was then elected on November 6, 2018, to fill a remaining six-year term as a justice of the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia due to the resignation of Robin Davis.[46] On November 20, 2020, Jenkins was designated to be Chief Justice effective January 1, 2021.[47] He resigned from the court on February 4, 2022.[48]

Supreme Court of Appeals, Unexpired Term Division II 2018 Election results
Party Candidate Votes %
Nonpartisan Evan Jenkins (incumbent) 182,133 36.01%
Nonpartisan Dennise Renee Smith 70,394 13.92%
Nonpartisan Jeff Kessler 60,077 11.88%
Nonpartisan Jim Douglas 47,609 9.41%
Nonpartisan Robert J. Frank 29,751 5.88%
Nonpartisan William Stewart Thompson 29,613 5.86%
Nonpartisan Jim O'Brien 28,766 5.69%
Nonpartisan Brenden D. Long 20,443 4.04%
Nonpartisan Marty 'Redshoes' Sheehan 18,639 3.69%
Nonpartisan William Schwartz 18,291 3.62%
Total votes 505,716 100.0%

Personal life

Jenkins and his wife Elizabeth have three children, two sons and one daughter.[6][8][49]

See also


  1. ^ a b "Dem joins GOP to run against Rahall". POLITICO. Retrieved June 2, 2017.
  2. ^ a b 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.
  3. ^ a b Timothy Cama. "Dem Rahall loses House seat after 38 years". TheHill.
  4. ^ a b Pathé, Simone (May 8, 2018). "Patrick Morrisey Wins West Virginia GOP Senate Primary". Roll Call. Retrieved December 25, 2021.
  5. ^ "Office Holders". West Virginia Republican Party. Retrieved October 2, 2014.
  6. ^ a b c d "W.Va. Senate 5". The Herald-Dispatch. Retrieved October 2, 2014.
  7. ^ "Evan Jenkins (R-WV-3)". Tea Party Cheer. Archived from the original on October 6, 2014. Retrieved October 2, 2014.
  8. ^ a b c "Jenkins confirms run for Congress". The Herald-Dispatch. Retrieved October 2, 2014.
  9. ^ "State Senator Evan Jenkins (Republican Party) – Knoxville Chamber". Archived from the original on October 6, 2014. Retrieved October 2, 2014.
  10. ^ "Longtime Dem Congressman Faces Tough 2014 Reelection Fight". The Huffington Post. May 3, 2014. Retrieved October 2, 2014.
  11. ^ "Evan H. Jenkins (R – Cabell, 05)". West Virginia Legislature. Retrieved July 12, 2014.
  12. ^ "2015-2016 Official Congressional Directory: 114th Congress" (PDF).
  13. ^ "Freshman Class Filled With Losers".
  14. ^ "Final results for state, federal legislative races in W.Va". Archived from the original on March 23, 2015. Retrieved October 2, 2014.
  15. ^ Chambers, Bryan (May 12, 2010). "Jenkins wins 3rd term in Senate". Herald-Dispatch. Retrieved July 12, 2014.
  16. ^ Livingston, Abby (July 31, 2013). "Democrat Switches Parties to Challenge Rahall #WV03". Roll Call. Retrieved July 31, 2013.
  17. ^ a b Blake, Aaron (March 11, 2014). "GOP poll: Longtime Rep. Rahall (D-W.Va.) down double digits". Washington Post. Retrieved May 23, 2014.
  18. ^ Boucher, Dave (July 30, 2013). "Nick Rahall, Evan Jenkins contributed to each other's campaigns". Charleston Daily Mail. Retrieved October 6, 2014.
  19. ^ "Beard, McLaughlin win primary election". Retrieved October 2, 2014.
  20. ^ "West Virginia Coal Association Endorses Evan Jenkins". Huntington News. Retrieved October 2, 2014.
  21. ^ "Charleston Daily Mail – Jenkins receives national pro-life endorsement". Retrieved October 2, 2014.
  22. ^ "Looking into the Crystal Ball". West Virginia Metro News. Retrieved October 3, 2014.
  23. ^ "House Ratings". The Rothenberg Political Report. Retrieved October 3, 2014.
  24. ^ ABC News. "Republicans Projected To Seize Control Of The Senate: 2014 Midterm Elections Results Live". ABC News.
  25. ^ "West Virginia Election Results" – via
  26. ^ Martis, Kenneth C. (1989). The Historical Atlas of Political Parties in the United States Congress. New York: Macmillan Publishing Company.
  27. ^ Martis, Kenneth C. (1982). The Historical Atlas of United States Congressional Districts. New York: Macmillan Publishing Company.
  28. ^ "Congressional Biographical Directory (CLERKWEB)". Archived from the original on April 23, 2010.
  29. ^ "W.Va. features packed ballot for 2016 election". Herald Mail Media. Retrieved February 7, 2016.
  30. ^ "West Virginia Statewide Results General Election – November 8, 2016 Official Results". West Virginia Secretary of State. November 8, 2016. Archived from the original on December 25, 2016. Retrieved December 3, 2016.
  31. ^ "Members". Republican Mains Street Partnership. Archived from the original on August 26, 2018. Retrieved October 4, 2017.
  32. ^ "Membership". Congressional Arts Caucus. Archived from the original on June 12, 2018. Retrieved March 13, 2018.
  33. ^ "Our Members". U.S. House of Representatives International Conservation Caucus. Archived from the original on August 1, 2018. Retrieved August 2, 2018.
  34. ^ Staff, WSAZ News. "Jenkins to challenge Manchin for U.S. Senate seat". Retrieved April 25, 2018.
  35. ^ Bradner, Eric; Merica, Dan (May 8, 2018). "With Blankenship loss, Republicans look to November in three key Senate races". CNN. Retrieved December 25, 2021.
  36. ^ Dickerson, Chris. "Morrisey, Jenkins both praise Trump's decision to rescind DACA". Retrieved February 23, 2018.
  37. ^ "Rep. Jenkins vows to keep heat on agency over new wood-burning regulations". Bluefield Daily Telegraph. March 9, 2015.
  38. ^ "Jenkins cosponsors Spruce Mine Bill". Logan Banner. March 2, 2015. Archived from the original on April 2, 2015. Retrieved March 10, 2015.
  39. ^ Zuckerman, Jake (June 1, 2017). "WV leaders praise withdrawal from climate deal". Charleston Gazette-Mail. Retrieved June 1, 2017.
  40. ^ Shorey, Gregor Aisch, Sarah Almukhtar, Wilson Andrews, Jeremy Bowers, Nate Cohn, K. k Rebecca Lai, Jasmine C. Lee, Alicia Parlapiano, Adam Pearce, Nadja Popovich, Kevin Quealy, Rachel; Singhvi, Anjali (May 4, 2017). "How Every Member Voted on the House Health Care Bill". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved August 2, 2017.
  41. ^ a b "WV Reps. Mooney, Jenkins, McKinley vote yes on AHCA". Charleston Gazette-Mail. Retrieved August 2, 2017.
  42. ^ "Jenkins: Doing nothing on health care 'wasn't an option'". WV MetroNews. May 8, 2017. Retrieved August 2, 2017.
  43. ^ a b "Jenkins clarifies stance on AHCA". Charleston Gazette-Mail. Retrieved August 2, 2017.
  44. ^ Dickerson, Chris (August 17, 2017). "State leaders praise Trump's declaration of national emergency in opioid crisis". West Virginia Record. Retrieved February 23, 2018.
  45. ^ "Evan Jenkins to Resign Seat on Sunday, Head to West Virginia Supreme Court". Roll Call. Retrieved September 29, 2018.
  46. ^ McElhinny, Brad (August 14, 2018). "More candidates lining up to run for open Supreme Court seats". Retrieved December 25, 2021.
  47. ^ "Justice Evan Jenkins to be Chief Justice in 2021, Justice John Hutchison to be Chief Justice in 2022" (PDF). Administrative Office. Supreme Court of Appeals of the State of West Virginia. November 20, 2020. Retrieved January 12, 2021.
  48. ^ Flatley, Jake (February 4, 2022). "Supreme Court Justice Evan Jenkins announces he's stepping down". WV MetroNews. Retrieved May 8, 2022.
  49. ^ Jenkins, Evan (April 26, 2014). "Evan Jenkins: The nation desperately needs new leadership". Herald-Dispatch. Retrieved July 12, 2014.

External links

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

Succeeded by
Legal offices
Preceded by Justice of the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals
Preceded by Chief Justice of the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals
Succeeded by
U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded byas Former US Representative Order of precedence of the United States
as Former US Representative
Succeeded byas Former US Representative
This page was last edited on 27 June 2022, at 23:54
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