CHARLESTON – West Virginia Chief Deputy Attorney General Anthony Martin has been named to The State Journal: Generation Next: 40 under 40 recipients for 2017.

The award program highlights young professionals under the age of 40 who are active in making West Virginia a better place to live and work. It is sponsored by Marshall University.

Martin told The West Virginia Record he was honored to receive the recognition.

“It’s a great honor to be included on the same list with some of the most successful and influential people in our state,” said Martin, 39. “When you look at previous classes you see a lot of the names of leaders who are driving the economy and government of West Virginia.”

Martin added that he is happy to be making a difference in the Mountaineer State, including in the battle against opioid abuse, including best practices for prescribing and dispensing.

Other states have looked at West Virginia as an example in the fight against the scourge of drug abuse.

As chief deputy attorney general, Martin finds himself in the front line in the battle against opioids. This has proven to be a challenge he has been ready to rise up to.

“The attorney general promised me that we would lead an aggressive large scale fight against opioid abuse in our state,” he said. “He kept his word. There is little argument that Patrick Morrisey is the most effective attorney general West Virginia has ever seen and perhaps the most impactful attorney general in America over the last four years.”

Martin knows his work isn’t done. He noted that there “are a lot of bad actors still flooding our state with prescription painkillers and other poisons.” 

“My goal is to force accountability upon as many of those bad actors as possible while I have the ability to do so,” he said. “There is no attorney general’s office in the country more aggressive on this front than us.”

The legal profession wasn’t always Martin’s career goal. But once he was in college at Mercyhurst University in 2001, he was attracted to the field and would go on to earn his law degree from Washington University in St. Louis in 2005. He earned his master’s degree from the University of Memphis.

Since earning his degree, he hasn’t looked back and has excelled in his field.

“Attorneys have the opportunity to directly and significantly influence the world around them on a daily basis,” Martin said. “The degree of that influence depends on the ambition and work ethic of each attorney. There aren’t many professions that afford that type of opportunity.”

Martin’s parents hail from Philippi and Buckhannon. He grew up in Buckhannon and graduated from Fairmont Senior High School.

“I get back to Buckhannon often and spend as much time on the river as possible throughout the summer,” Martin said. “My wife and I do most of our vacationing in West Virginia and Upshur County is a great location as our base camp.”

As far as career goals, Martin told The West Virginia Record he wants to drive the pace of improvement and set the standard for what can be accomplished in West Virginia.

“I think we have really opened some eyes as to the positive difference an aggressive attorney general can make in West Virginia,” he said. “I have three more years to try to be the best chief deputy in the country. Then we shall see what’s next.”

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