West Virginia Casino Group Switches Loyalties

During the 2014 elections, the casino-backed group West Virginia First gave $431,400 to Democratic candidates. But following Republicans gains, West Virginia First aligned itself with the Republican-friendly Go West Virginia, which helped Grow WV Inc. distribute $1.4 million to Republicans.

The casino-backed group West Virginia First gave 1,400 exclusively to Democrats in the 2014 elections. Contributors included Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races, Mountaineer Casino Racetrack & Resort in Chester, Mardi Gras West Virginia Casino & Hotel in Cross Lanes, Wheeling Island Hotel, Casino & Racetrack and billionaire coal executive Jim Justice’s Greenbrier resort, according to campaign finance reports.

However, in January, following Republican gains in the last election, West Virginia First gave $615,500 to the Republican-backed Go West Virginia, which aided Grow WV Inc. with distribution of $1.4 million helping to elect Republicans in the last election. Go West Virginia held a January $25,000-per-plate dinner but canceled a March $100,000-a-plate breakfast.