Senate primary gets nasty: 'This is West Virginia, not NJ. We are respectable'

Turns out, the Garden State is a central part of the Senate primary in the Mountain State.

That’s because the frontrunner in a Fox News poll of likely GOP Senate primary voters, Rep. Evan Jenkins, R-W.Va., is dismissive of his opponent Attorney General Patrick Morrisey’s combative style.

Jenkins said Morrisey has a “New Jersey approach.”

“Why don’t you let me finish?” Jenkins asked Morrisey, who was contesting a point about water regulations, during a Tuesday debate broadcast on WSAZ NewsChannel3. “This is West Virginia, not New Jersey – we are respectable and polite in our state.”

Morrisey, Jenkins and fellow Republican candidate Don Blankenship are set to participate in the West Virginia GOP Senate primary debate hosted by Fox News on Tuesday, May 1. The debate, which will be co-moderated by Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum, will be held at the Metropolitan Theatre in Morgantown, West Virginia, at 6:30 p.m. ET.

FOX NEWS POLL: THREE TOP-TIER CANDIDATES IN WEST VIRGINIA GOP SENATE PRIMARY

When asked in an interview Wednesday to elaborate on what embodies the so-called “New Jersey approach,” Jenkins called Morrisey “pushy.”

Morrisey grew up in New Jersey, attended Rutgers University, and later mounted a congressional bid in the state.

But he insists, that was a long time ago.

“I really think what you saw yesterday during the debate is that he’s become a little bit unhinged,” Morrisey said of Jenkins. “I’ve been the Attorney General of two terms, people know that I’ve been standing up for West Virginia in court and going after the Obama administration.”

“I got to move here by choice in my life,” Morrisey continued. “I love this state so passionately, and so you know for him to do this shows just how desperate his campaign is.”

Peter Doocy is currently a Washington D.C.-based correspondent for FOX News Channel (FNC).  He joined the network in 2009 as a general assignment reporter based in the New York bureau.