EXCLUSIVE: Senate Democrats’ campaign arm launches billboard campaign targeting Justice amid lawsuit over his schedule
The Senate Democrats’ campaign arm launched a billboard campaign Friday in West Virginia targeting Gov. Jim Justice (R) after the Democratic group sued the governor for the release of his official schedule.
The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) is placing billboards close to the Greenbrier resort owned by the governor and Kanawha County Courthouse that will read “What is Jim Justice Hiding?” and direct readers to visit a website launched by the Democratic group that points to various controversies surrounding the West Virginia governor, according to plans first shared with The Hill.
“The Greenbrier County billboard is located westbound on I-64 at Howards Creek. The Charleston billboard is along I-64 and I-77 just east of the West Virginia State Capitol,” according to the DSCC.
The billboards are scheduled to remain in place for a month.
“Jim Justice won’t be able to hide the looming questions being raised about his absence on the job, his shady finances, mountain of additional scandals, and blistering attacks from his GOP opponent,” DSCC spokesperson Amanda Sherman said in a statement.
Justice is running for Sen. Joe Manchin’s (D-W.Va.) Senate seat but first has to beat Rep. Alex Mooney (R-W.Va.) in the GOP primary. Manchin has not yet said whether he’s running for reelection, but the West Virginia Senate seat is considered a prime pickup opportunity for Republicans in 2024.
The DSCC filed a lawsuit against Justice’s office in May in an effort to obtain Justice’s official schedule as governor, spanning between when he took office to the present. The Kanawha County Circuit Court will be hearing the case.
The lawsuit followed multiple attempts by the DSCC to obtain his official schedule through Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests that Justice’s office denied. The Associated Press reported in 2019, after obtaining months of Justice’s schedule, that the West Virginia Republican didn’t visit the state capital often and rarely met with his Cabinet.
In response to the lawsuit in May, Justice’s campaign manager Roman Stauffer said, “Governor Jim Justice is the frontrunner in this campaign for U.S. Senate, and the polling shows that he beats every other candidate.”
“[Senate Majority Leader] Chuck Schumer and the Democrats are panicking and will do everything they can to prop up Alex Mooney, whom they know they can easily beat in the General Election,” he added.