West Virginia Attorney General Wins the Republican Nod for Governor

Patrick Morrisey, the attorney general of West Virginia, won the Republican primary for governor on Tuesday, according to The Associated Press, making him the likely next chief executive of the deeply Republican state.

In the general election, he will face Steve Williams, the mayor of Huntington, and the only Democrat on the primary ballot. The winner will succeed Jim Justice, who has led the state for eight years , and who is running for U.S. Senate.

Mr. Morrisey, now in his third term as the state’s attorney general, was one of six candidates vying for the Republican nomination, including two political scions. One was Moore Capito, a former state lawmaker, whose mother is Senator Shelly Moore Capito, and whose grandfather was Arch Moore Jr., a three-term governor. The other was Chris Miller, the owner of an auto dealership group, who is the son of U.S. Rep. Carol Miller and the grandson of Samuel Devine, who represented Ohio’s 12th district in Congress for 11 terms. Also among the Republican candidates was Mac Warner, the West Virginia secretary of state.

The Republican candidates ran hard to the right in the campaign, accusing one another other of being Republicans in name only, and of being insufficiently opposed to transgender rights.

Mr. Morrisey, 56, challenged Joe Manchin III for his U.S. Senate seat in 2018 and came up just short. But he since made a name for himself by aggressively litigating against President Biden’s policies. He has joined or led several coalitions of Republican state attorneys general challenging the federal government over environment regulations, vaccine mandates and gun sales.

The winner of the general election will take over a state that has scored poorly on a host of metrics. West Virginia has one of the highest child poverty rates and lowest labor force participation rates in the country, and a large portion of the population has reported heath problems. Following a major cut last year in the state’s income tax, significant revenue shortfalls are forecast in the years ahead.

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