The president of a group that opposes abortion rights and LGBTQ protections has announced he is running for U.S. Senate, challenging Republican incumbent Shelley Moore Capito in the May primary election.
According to a news release from his campaign, Allen Whitt is a former writer and spokesman for Dr. Billy Graham. He’s served as the president of the West Virginia Family Policy Council for the past six years.
The organization refers to itself as "the leading conservative policy group championing social issues." They oppose abortion rights and same-sex marriage, and advocate for religious freedom.
The group's website also says they occasionally partner with the Family Research Council, which the Southern Poverty Law Center has designated as a hate group.
Whitt says Capito’s record in Washington doesn't reflect conservative values. He specifically criticized her consideration of so-called “red-flag laws” when it comes to purchasing guns.
“I’m running to bring West Virginia values to Washington,” Allen said in a statement announcing his primary bid. “As a Republican, I campaigned for Shelley Moore Capito in 2014, but conservatives have been let down too many times by her votes and her statements. Her most recent comments on supporting red flag laws simply don’t represent the views of the majority of West Virginians.”
Democrat Paula Jean Swearengin has also announced a run for Capito’s Senate seat in 2020.