CHARLESTON – Patrick Morrisey’s U.S. Senate campaign raised more than $737,000 in the fourth quarter of 2017, according to campaign finance reports.
Since he announced his plans in July to run for Sen. Joe Manchin’s seat, Morrisey has raised more than $1.41 million. He has more than $1.1 million in his war chest.
“I am so grateful for the outpouring of support and enthusiasm we are seeing from people across West Virginia and the nation,” Morrisey said. “As I travel across the state, I hear from voters who are fed up with Sen. Manchin’s liberal policies and his failure to accomplish anything in D.C.
“Our fundraising success among small donors is proof that West Virginia voters are ready for a senator with a proven conservative record who will drain the swamp. I won’t let them down.”
Meanwhile, a political action committee supporting Morrisey also has raised $700,000.
35th PAC Executive Director D.J. Eckert told the Washington Examiner that the two fundraising announcements make Morrisey “the strongest possible candidate to beat Senator Manchin in November.”
“Our organization will have the resources necessary to independently communicate Attorney General Morrisey's proven record as a strong conservative leader who will support President Trump's agenda and stand up for West Virginia values in Washington,” Eckert said.
Morrisey praised the 35th PAC’s efforts.
“I’m grateful for the outpouring of support in this race,” Morrisey said. “Voters and activists are rallying to our conservative message, and we will not let them down. I am committed to standing up to the liberals in Washington and fighting for our West Virginia values just as I have done as Attorney General.”
Morrisey, a Republican who currently is West Virginia’s attorney general, faces primary competition from Congressman Evan Jenkins, former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship, former coal miner Bo Copley and businessman Tom Willis. Manchin will be challenged in the Democratic primary by environmental activist Paula Jean Swearengin, and West Virginia University law school professor Kendra Fershee also has said she plans to run.
For now, Morrisey is focusing his primary efforts on Jenkins.
“With Evan Jenkins' liberal record, lack of grassroots, and limited fundraising capacity to take on the incumbent, Jenkins is now running to be a spoiler since he cannot defeat Sen. Manchin," Morrisey said.
Morrisey’s campaign also has questioned where Jenkins’ fourth-quarter fundraising numbers are, saying he has been “conspicuously silent.”
“Perhaps Evan Jenkins has repeated his abysmal third quarter fundraising with another disappointing quarter and is trying to hide his sinking campaign from public scrutiny,” Morrisey campaign spokeswoman Nachama Soloveichik said. “In the third quarter, Morrisey more than tripled Jenkins’s paltry report of $221,000. Furthermore, Jenkins spent nearly his entire fundraising haul, netting only $14,000 and producing one of the worst fundraising quarters for a major U.S. Senate candidate.
“With his liberal record, his past support of Joe Manchin, and his paltry fundraising reports, it’s clear that Evan Jenkins cannot credibly take on Sen. Manchin in the general election. West Virginians deserve a genuinely conservative senator – that person is Patrick Morrisey.”
Quarterly campaign finance reports aren’t due until Jan. 31.
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Morrisey also has been endorsed by the Senate Conservatives Fund.
In an email to supporters, the group highlighted Morrisey’s conservative record as attorney general, including his legal fight against the Environmental Protection Agency and his fight against amnesty and sanctuary cities.
“As Attorney General, Morrisey has built a strong record of conservative accomplishments,” SCF President Ken Cuccinelli said. “Patrick Morrisey is a full-spectrum conservative who will fight for limited government, economic freedom, and personal responsibility in the United States Senate.”
Morrisey said he was honored to receive the endorsement.
“SCF has been on the front lines of many important policy battles in our nation and has helped elect conservative champions like Sens. Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, and Marco Rubio,” Morrisey said. “As we enter the final months of the primary campaign, it’s clear conservatives are rallying around our message and our campaign.”
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Morrisey has called on Manchin to vote yes on the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. The Act would ban late-term abortions after 20 weeks. The House of Representatives already has passed similar legislation.
Morrisey’s campaign claims Manchin “has been all over the map on abortion,” noting that he calls himself pro-life but once was seen holding a sign that said “I stand with Planned Parenthood.”
In 2014, Manchin voted to overturn the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision and voted against defunding Planned Parenthood.
Morrisey’s campaign says its candidate has led the fight for the Pain-Capable law in West Virginia and has joined several lawsuits defending similar legislation across the country.
“It’s time for Sen. Manchin to stop jerking the people of West Virginia around,” Morrisey said. “If Sen. Manchin is truly pro-life, he should vocally support the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act.
“West Virginians are proudly pro-life, and they deserve a senator who will stand up and defend their conservative values.”