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Field for West Virginia governor getting crowded

HARPERS FERRY, W.Va. (DC News Now) — West Virginia’s attorney general officially threw his hat in the ring for the 2024 gubernatorial race, joining the list of people who already announced their candidacies.

In his role as attorney general, Patrick Morrisey has taken on drug companies and those whose interests are at odds with West Virginia energy interests for a decade.

“Who better to be governor than the guy who took on Biden’s green new deal?” Morrisey asked at his formal announcement in Harpers Ferry.

Incumbent Governor Jim Justice, who is term-limited, will leave office in January 2025.

“Patrick won a bell ringer in court,” said supporter Mark Fuhrman. “It was a highly effective lawsuit against the EPA for overreach. These unelected bureaucrats.”

And on a history-making day in a New York courtroom, where former president Donald Trump was arraigned on charges related to allegations he falsified business records to hide damaging information before the 2016 presidential election, Morrissey rallied Trump supporters who were there for his announcement.

“This was no ordinary indictment,” Morrisey proclaimed. “It is a political witch hunt and a political prosecution.”

Morrisey counts allies in the state legislature among those in his corner.

“One thing Patrick has is a proven record,” said Sen. Patricia Rucker, a Republican who represents Jefferson and Berkeley counties.

Among Morrisey’s allies are government leaders in the Eastern Panhandle where he lives.

“We need to keep working with state officials to get what we need,” said Tricia Jackson, a Jefferson County commissioner. “Whether it’s locality pay or something that speaks to the people and growth of our area.”

The filing deadline is not until January 2024. Already, at least four other candidates are in the governor’s race: State Del. Moore Capito, State Auditor J.B. McCuskey, businessman Chris Miller, and Secretary of State “Mac” Warner.

Morrisey ran for the U.S. Senate in 2018 but lost to Joe Manchin.