|Justice of the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals|
October 1, 2018
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives|
from West Virginia's 3rd district
January 3, 2015 - September 30, 2018
|Member of the West Virginia Senate|
from the 5th district
December 1, 2002 - December 1, 2014
Serving with Robert H. Plymale
|Member of the West Virginia House of Delegates|
from the 16th district
December 1, 1994 - December 1, 2000
Serving with Jody Smirl, Susan Hubbard
|Stephen T. Williams|
Evan Hollin Jenkins
September 12, 1960
|Political party||Republican (Before 1992,|
|Education||University of Florida (BS)|
Samford University (JD)
Evan Hollin Jenkins (born September 12, 1960) is an American politician serving as Justice of the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia since 2018. 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.
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. He gave up his seat to run in the 2014 congressional election, defeating incumbent Democrat Nick Rahall.
On September 30, 2018, Jenkins resigned from Congress after having been appointed Justice of the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia by West Virginia Governor Jim Justice. 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.
Jenkins earned his B.S. in Education/Business Administration from the University of Florida in 1983. He went on to earn his J.D. from Samford University Cumberland School of Law in 1987.
He was the Executive Director of the West Virginia State Medical Association, and taught business law as an instructor at Marshall University. He is also the former Co-Chairman of the Health Care Committee in the West Virginia State Chamber of Commerce.
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. He lost a race for the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia in 2000.
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). In 2010, Jenkins was again re-elected to the West Virginia State Senate, District 5, running unopposed in the general election.
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. 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." West Virginia's 3rd district had long been a Democratic stronghold, 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. Jenkins and Rahall had contributed to each other's campaigns in the decade's previous election cycles.
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. 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." Rahall outspent Jenkins in the election by a two-to-one ratio.
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. 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). 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.
On May 8, 2017, Jenkins announced his intention to run for the United States Senate seat held by Joe Manchin. 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.
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."
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. 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."
In May 2017, Jenkins voted for the American Health Care Act (AHCA), the Republican bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), 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." 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. 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.[dead link]
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."