CHARLESTON – Michael Stuart, a former state Republican chairman and a member of the law firm of Steptoe & Johnson, was nominated in September by President Donald Trump to become the U.S. attorney for the southern half of West Virginia.

"It is a tremendous honor to be nominated by a president of the United States for any post and especially satisfying to know it is for a critical post right here in West Virginia," Stuart told The West Virginia Record. "My dad and grandfather were coal miners. I am extremely proud of my West Virginia heritage and this nomination means a great deal to my family."

Stuart, who co-chaired Trump’s campaign efforts in West Virginia during the 2016 election, said he takes pride in the nomination but also knows there are plenty of issues to deal with as being the top federal prosecutor in the southern part of the state.

The top issue is the opioid crisis, and Stuart said if he is confirmed he will work closely with federal, state and local law enforcement and community leaders to stem the drug crisis. A confirmation hearing has yet to be scheduled.

"We live in dangerous times with overwhelming challenges including the 'epidemic of epidemics,' the opiate scourge," Stuart said. "Too many – addicts, families, communities – have been ravaged by the peddlers of poison. Law enforcement and first responders are overwhelmed with a tragedy that will not relent. I intend to work as closely as I can to do all we can to turn the tide on this epidemic and deliver justice to those that do evil in our communities."

Stuart, who received a undergraduate degree from West Virginia University and a juris doctorate from Boston University School of Law, said it was never one of his goals to be a U.S. attorney.

"It was never a goal because it is not something I ever imagined an ordinary guy with a traditional West Virginia background like me would ever have the chance to do. That said, I believe in many ways that I am built for this challenge and look forward to rolling up my sleeves and getting to work," Stuart said.

According to the firm’s website, Stuart’s specialties include corporate law, energy and commercial transactions, securities, and government relations.

He helps clients with mergers and acquisitions, corporate finance, business development, mergers, dissolutions, financing, and management.

"Despite the immense challenges, I am incredibly optimistic about our future. Our best days are ahead, and you can take that to the bank," Stuart said.

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