Patrick Morrisey speaks during his introductory press conference Feb. 16 at the state Capitol. (Photo by Chris Dickerson)
CHARLESTON – Patrick Morrisey says that after 32 years of public service, it's time to send Darrell McGraw packing.
Morrisey, who is running against McGraw for state Attorney General, recently had his first press conference at the state Capitol to get his campaign started.
"After serving for 32 years, he does deserve our thanks," Morrisey said of his opponent. "But he's done all he can. The time has come for a fresh start."
Morrisey, a health care lawyer with the Washington, D.C. firm of King & Spalding, said he would bring "a new perspective to efforts to repeal Obamacare, curb federal and state government over-regulation, provide competent counsel on Medicaid matters, and advance meaningful ethics reform."
"Our AG is committed to the path of Obama's administration of not only raising taxes, but shifting more and more burdens to states," he said. "That's not legal malpractice, it's a death sentence for us.
"People in West Virginia care a lot about public programs. Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security ... all three programs are in serious financial trouble. And with the way things are going, West Virginians will be left holding the bag."
Morrisey stressed how this is a legal issue.
"Until Obamacare was enacted, Congress had never before imposed a civil penalty on a person for failing to purchase a product," he said. "This is the antithesis of freedom.
"I promise to do everything at my disposal to create freedom and create jobs. The Attorney General's office can play an important role in that."
Morrisey also said he would redefine the office of Attorney General and its role.
"It will become a source of good, something sorely needed in West Virginia," he said. "The office will be transparent, and I won't use money from the office for self-promotion.
"I will change the culture of the office so business no longer fears the AG's office and the state's judicial system."
Morrisey also said he would create an Office of Federalism and Liberty to "change how the federal government deals with West Virginia."
The Republican also challenged his Democratic opponent to debate in each of the state's 55 counties to "take our messages to the people."
"I know he'll say yes," Morrisey said with a sarcastic grin.
McGraw is seeking his sixth term as attorney general. The primary election is May 8, and the general election is Nov. 6.