State Attorney General Morrisey Wins West Virginia GOP Gubernatorial Nod

State Attorney General wins hotly contested four-way race to succeed term-limited, U.S. Senate-bound Gov. Jim Justice in state’s May 14 primary.
State Attorney General Morrisey Wins West Virginia GOP Gubernatorial Nod
GOP Senate candidate Patrick Morrisey and President Donald Trump at a Make America Great Again rally in Huntington, W.Va., on Nov. 2, 2018. (Charlotte Cuthbertson/The Epoch Times)
John Haughey

Three-term State Attorney General Patrick Morrisey appears set to move his Capitol complex office into the executive suite after winning a six-candidate Republican race to succeed Gov. Jim Justice in West Virginia’s May 14 primaries.

Mr. Morrisey, notching 33 percent of the tally with 70,294 votes, was declared the winner in GOP gubernatorial primary by the Associated Press at 10:25 p.m. EST with 92 percent of results counted to earn the nod in a crowded race that saw Republican campaigns spend more than $11 million.

Former state Del. Moore Capito (R-Kanawha), whose mother is U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) and grandfather was Gov. Arch Moore Jr., surged in April-early May polls but fell short. He had accrued 27.8 percent of the tally, 59,322 votes, when the race was called.

Also on the ballot were Huntington car dealership owner Chris Miller, whose mother is Rep. Carol Miller (R-W.Va.), and West Virginia Secretary of State Mac Warner. Mr. Miller had 20.4 percent, 43,473 votes, and Mr. Warner garnered 16.1 percent, 34,277 votes, when the race was called.

Mr. Morrisey now faces three-term Huntington Mayor Steve Williams, who was unopposed in the Democrat primary, in November as the prohibitive favorite in deep-red West Virginia.

The 2018 Republican challenger to Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), Mr. Morrissey has been state attorney general since 2012 and has gained national attention for aggressively challenging Obama and Biden administration environmental regulations.

Mr. Capito, who resigned midway through his fourth term as a House delegate, where he was Judiciary Committee chair, emerged as Mr. Morrisey’s chief rival late in the race after he was endorsed by Mr. Justice.

The popular, folksy governor—who breezed to his GOP nomination to succeed the retiring Mr. Manchin in the Senate—appeared in TV ads with his English bulldog, “Babydog”, calling on voters to support Mr. Capito.

As with other May 14 GOP preliminary races up and down the ballot in West Virginia, there was little policy discussion among the gubernatorial candidates, with the race being defined by who would be most effective as governor in implementing President Trump’s ‘MAGA’ agenda beginning in 2025.

Mr. Morrisey was endorsed and supported on the stump trail by former Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy and Donald Trump, Jr., who was a big booster throughout the campaign.

Mr. Morrisey and Mr. Capito were also one-two in fundraising, according to their April 28 campaign filings with the West Virginia Secretary of State’s Office.

Mr. Morrisey’s campaign reported raising $3.624 million, spending $3 million, with $695,276.58 in the bank two weeks before the May 14 primary. At least $132,000 in contributions come from self-loans.

Mr. Capito’s campaign reported raising $2.131 million, spending $1.52 million, with $600,000 cash-on-hand on April 28. Contributions include at least $270,000 in “self-donations.”

West Virginia’s gubernatorial race is among 11 2024 governor elections and among eight where the governor’s mansion is currently held by a Republican. Heading into the 2024 election cycle, 27 governors are Republicans, and 23 are Democrats.

John Haughey is an award-winning Epoch Times reporter who covers U.S. elections, U.S. Congress, energy, defense, and infrastructure. Mr. Haughey has more than 45 years of media experience. You can reach John via email at [email protected]
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