Goodbye, Darrell! Hello, Patrick!

By The West Virginia Record | Nov 9, 2012

“Six-term incumbent Darrell McGraw”? We’ll never have to write those woeful words, and you’ll never have to read them.

“Six-term incumbent Darrell McGraw”? We’ll never have to write those woeful words, and you’ll never have to read them.

Which is a good thing, because those words would have stuck in our craw.

We never liked the phrase “five-term incumbent Darrell McGraw,” but we got used to writing it after a few years and we eventually overcame the gag reflex.

Of course, the four-term incumbent almost didn’t become the five-term incumbent, and the three-term incumbent barely secured a fourth term. (McGraw won both of his last two races by less than one percentage point.) The handwriting was on the wall.

Still, his long-awaited departure from public office comes none too soon. “Six-term incumbent Darrell McGraw” was a bridge too far.

Mercifully, we won’t have to cross it – thanks to the successful campaign of McGraw’s challenger, Harpers Ferry Republican and Attorney General-Elect Patrick Morrisey.

“Attorney General-Elect Patrick Morrisey.” That has a nice ring to it, kind of rolls off the tongue. If nothing else, it’s new and different.

Morrisey will be West Virginia’s first new attorney general since 1992, and he promises to be different from his predecessor, five-term incumbent Darrell McGraw.

Unlike old Quick Draw, Morrisey campaigned without the benefit of public funds. Of course, public funds were not available to McGraw either, but that didn’t stop him from finding cash-free ways to use his public office in his reelection effort.

Morrisey promises to perform the functions of state attorney general “in an honorable and effective manner,” which will be a nice change of pace from the past 20 years of unceasing self-promotion.

He also vows to challenge “overreaching laws and regulations” emanating from Washington, rejecting a two-decade McGraw pattern of obsequiousness to federal encroachment.

Morrisey says he wants to “protect jobs and consumers in this state, improve West Virginia’s business and legal climate, and advance ethics reform.” That will be new and different as well. With Morrisey’s election, change already has begun.

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