By CHRIS DICKERSON
CHARLESTON – Patrick Morrisey is seeking another term as West Virginia’s attorney general.
Morrisey made the announcement Tuesday during a conference call. He had been mulling either another term as AG or a run for governor.
A Republican, Morrisey was elected to office in 2012 after defeating five-term incumbent Democrat Darrell McGraw.
In recent weeks, the gubernatorial race has taken shape. State Senate Minority Leader Jeff Kessler and The Greenbrier owner Jim Justice is running on the Democratic ticket, and state Senate President Bill Cole is running on the GOP ballot. Morrisey and U.S. Rep. David McKinley both had been mentioned as possible Republican candidates as well. But now, both of them have decided to seek re-election.
Recently, Morrisey told the The West Virginia Record is proud of the work his office has done. But, he also said there is plenty of work to do.
“We’ve been working very hard to achieve as much as possible,” Morrisey said. “The voters granted me with the four-year term, and we’ve been trying to get as much done to help West Virginia reach her potential.
“We have a terrific team that is gaining the confidence of other states. We’ve modernized the office. We’ve added new talent. We’ve modified how settlement money is processed. We’ve implemented our outside counsel plan. West Virginia is now a leader in the fight against the EPA. We’re doing good things.
“But, there definitely isn’t a lack of things to focus on in the office. There are a couple critical initiatives for our state to help West Virginia grow. Within our role, we want to ensure we defeat the EPA on some of their initiatives to help save West Virginia jobs. We’re hopeful we can prevail.
“We want to send the message that there is a future for coal in our state. We want to help West Virginia reach her potential with a business and legal climate. It’s a top priority of our office. We have a vigorous consumer protection division, but we’re responsible.”
Morrisey said he thinks people see how the office is different after 20 years under former McGraw, a Democrat who often was criticized for his outside counsel policy of often appointing campaign contributors, his use of settlement money and his use of trinkets for political gain.
“I think people have noticed a difference,” Morrisey, a Republican, said. “We’ve focused on how we can impact change. We have built on some of the positive things from the past and changed things that weren’t being done so well.
“We’ve worked hard to be accessible to people yet still be the state’s law firm. We’ve had 58 town halls across the state since taking office.”
Morrisey said he love being the state’s attorney general.
“There is so much you can accomplish every day for the people of our state, and there is a lot more we can do to ensure the office is working to help West Virginia grow,” he said. “I plan to spend every day trying to be the best attorney general this state has ever had.”