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West Virginia's Attorney General Almost Certain to Be State's Next Governor

Patrick Morrisey earned the Republican nomination for governor in the state's primary election on Tuesday, May 14, with 33 percent of the vote. Morrisey has served as the West Virginia attorney general for 12 years.

Patrick Morrisey
West Virginia attorney general Patrick Morrisey campaigns for state Governor. (Photo Courtesy of
Patrick Morrisey secured the Republican nomination in the West Virginia governor’s race on Tuesday, inching out fellow front-runner Moore Capito in the high-profile and heavy-spending race.

Morrisey, who has served as the state’s attorney general for 12 years, won with 33 percent of the votes at the time the race was called in his favor.

“This campaign now marches on to November,” said Morrisey, 56, from his victory party in Martinsburg. “West Virginia is too important, our kids’ future is too important, this country is too important.”

He added, “I’m going to do everything I can to make sure Donald J. Trump is the next president.”

Democrat Steve Williams, mayor of Huntington, ran unopposed and will face Morrisey in the November general election to be state’s 37th governor.

Morrisey had narrowly led campaign polls in the race ahead of Tuesday’s primary. The New Jersey native spent more than $3 million — and led the gubernatorial candidates in media ad buys — during his campaign in hopes of securing the nomination.

He touted his conservative track record for the past 12 years as attorney general, citing his work combating the state’s crippling opioid epidemic and suing the Environmental Protection Agency.

Morrisey along with his fellow Republican gubernatorial candidates also leaned into anti-trans rhetoric this election cycle, with ads accusing one another of supporting LGBTQ+ rights.

As attorney general, Morrisey has often attempted to use litigation to limit the ability of LGBTQ+ individuals. Recently, he said he’ll ask the Supreme Court to weigh in on if the state can enforce a ban on transgender athletes participating in girls’ sports.

Moore, a former House of Delegates member and son of U.S. Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito, received 28 percent of votes.

“This didn’t go as we had hoped,” he said at a watch party in downtown Charleston. “It was one hell of a ride, and it was fun … we look to the future with pure optimism.”

Billing himself as the “get it done conservative, Moore was endorsed by Gov. Jim Justice, and the pair made a last minute push for votes by traveling around ahead of primary election day. Moore, 41, spent $1.5 million during the campaign.

Car dealership-owner Chris Miller trailed with 20 percent of the votes, and Secretary of State Mac Warner received 16 percent of votes.

The Journal reported $22 million had been spent in the race between the candidates, third party political action committees, and independent expenditure committees since the first ads were bought last year, according to an analysis by Medium Buying.

This article was first published by West Virginia Watch. Read the original article.
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