CHARLESTON – After winning his primary election battle, Dan Greear is ready to take on incumbent Darrell McGraw to become state Attorney General.
On Tuesday, Greear defeated Hiram Lewis for the Republican attorney general nomination by a 56-44 percentage margin. McGraw had no competition in the Democratic primary.
"It's a first step, but it's a big step," Greear said of his primary victory. "I'm happy. We just worked as hard as we could. And we're starting the campaign for the general election now.
"I'm very humbled and proud of what my fellow Republicans across the state have done."
Greear said that includes aggressively starting to raise money to take on McGraw, whose name, incumbency and decades of service will mean an uphill battle for Greear, a Charleston attorney.
But Greear said his approach to the campaign won't change much.
"We're going to keep talking about the same issues we've already been talking about," Greear said. "One, we're going to point out the problems with the Attorney General's office now. And two, we're going to talk about the reasons why I am qualified to run the office the way it should be.
"The Attorney General is supposed to serve and represent the people of West Virginia. The Attorney General is not supposed to create policy and is not suppose to decide how money is spent."
Lewis, who nearly defeated McGraw in the 2004 general election, said he fully supports Greear.
"I'm disappointed for my supporters, but I think we have a good candidate," Lewis said. "And I support Dan and everything he is going to do to change the Attorney General's office. I wish Dan the best of luck."
Lewis said he thinks his near-victory four years ago will force McGraw's campaign to be more prepared this time around.
"They'll be ready this time around," Lewis said. "They're going to pull out every trick they cab. I feel that I was willing to take on the job. But we do have a great candidate."
Lewis said he remains optimistic about Greear's chances against McGraw.
"It's going to be close," he said. "I hope Dan can pull it out. But like I said, Darrell is going to be ready this time. It's going to be an all-out campaign from both sides."