MORGANTOWN – The Democratic candidate for West Virginia Attorney General says he would continue Patrick Morrisey’s fight against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Doug Reynolds also says he would continue intervene on behalf of county school systems in response to the federal government’s directive for schools to allow transgender people to use facilities they identify with rather than their birth gender.
During a July 25 appearance on MetroNews’ “Talkline” show with host Hoppy Kercheval, Reynolds said he believes the EPA and the Obama administration is guilty of governmental overreach.
“I believe … this is Congress’s responsibility to come up with a plan to deal with these issues in energy and clean power,” Reynolds said. “And, frankly, Congress has completely abdicated that so far. But that doesn’t mean it’s right for the executive branch of government to try to legislate through executive order.”
As for the transgender bathroom issue, Reynolds said he thinks the issue should be left to local school systems.
Like the EPA issue, Morrisey has been a leader nationally in fighting the administration on this issue.
“We don’t need to go across the country to find litigation,” Reynolds told Kercheval on the radio show. “I think our local school systems should regulate the bathrooms. It shouldn’t be a federal issue.”
Like Morrisey, Reynolds said he also would defend local school systems in court on the issue.
“If that happened, if the federal government was trying to step on our local boards, I would intervene on their behalf,” Reynolds said.
During the interview, Reynolds also talked about his track record as a businessman who has created jobs across West Virginia. He’s the CEO of Energy Services of America, which is based in Huntington. He also is the managing partner for HD Media, which owns The (Huntington) Herald-Dispatch, and Wayne County News.
Since 2006, he has been a member of the House of Delegates representing parts of Cabell and Wayne counties. He also served as an assistant prosecuting attorney in Cabell County and owned his own law firm.
“If you look at my experience, I’m a businessman who’s created jobs throughout West Virginia,” Reynolds said. “He (Morrisey) is a lifelong lobbyist before he was attorney general.”
Reynolds said he would be more aggressive in fighting the state’s prescription drug epidemic than Morrisey has been.
“The lack of opportunity (for jobs) is one of the biggest issues facing our state,” Reynolds said. “Look at our drug problem. We have a serious problem. Nearly every community in this state has suffered. And, employers look at this. They won’t bring their businesses here when we have such a serious drug problem.
“A much harder stance needs to be taken against these drug companies. Some of those cases filed by the former AG (Darrell McGraw) have gone nowhere. Some have settled, I know. But these were filed over four years ago. And, I haven’t heard much about them, to be honest.
“(I have a) commitment to fighting this drug problem. I’ve been a prosecutor. I’ve pushed legislation dealing with that . That’s clearly not been a priority of his (Morrisey) during the last four years.”
Reynolds said he would describe himself as a Joe Manchin type of Democrat. A moderate and conservative.
“In many cases, I vote against my own party. I think people would see me as common sense and independent. I think that’s what most voters want.”
Morrisey was elected Attorney General in 2012, defeating 20-year incumbent McGraw. In addition to Morrisey and Reynolds, Libertarian candidate Karl Kolenich also is on the ballot for the Nov. 8 election.