CHARLESTON — Delegate Isaac Sponaugle has filed papers to run for Attorney General.
Sponaugle, who is from Franklin in Pendleton County, is entering the Democratic primary against Beckley attorney Sam Petsonk for the right to challenge sitting Republican AG Patrick Morrisey, who has no announced primary opponents.
Sponaugle didn’t mince words when he talked about Morrisey.
“I’m disgusted with Attorney General Patrick Morrisey worshipping out of state special interests,” Sponaugle said in a statement announcing his candidacy. “He wants to take West Virginians’ health insurance protections away for preexisting conditions. This means if you had or get cancer, heart disease, a stroke, high blood pressure or diabetes, Morrisey wants to cancel your health insurance. Why? The health insurance industry can make hundreds of million dollars more a year in profit if he’s successful. That’s wrong and he needs to go.”
Sponaugle, who was elected to the House of Delegates in 2012, has been in headlines recently for filing a lawsuit against Republican Gov. Jim Justice regarding the governor’s residency and his time spent in Charleston at the state Capitol.
“I’ve worked hard during my legislative career fighting for all West Virginians,” Sponaugle said in his statement. "I've sponsored and supported bills that have become law, which benefit the working people of this state.
“Likewise, I have fought vigorously against bills by the corrupt special interests that attack West Virginians’ healthcare, wages, property and legal rights. I look forward to fighting on behalf of all the working people of this state every day in the courtroom.”
Morrisey's campaign released a statement about Sponaugle's candidacy.
“We welcome all competition, but know that Attorney General Patrick Morrisey has an unmatched record of accomplishment and distinction for the Mountain State," the campaign said. “Patrick’s record of achieving results for West Virginia families is second to none. We don’t need a hard core, liberal, anti-Trump political operator — with no track record of accomplishment — serving in such an important position.”
Sponaugle, who represents Pendleton and Hardy counties, served as the deputy minority whip and serves on the Statewide Select Committees of the West Virginia Law Institute and on the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals’ Community Supervision Committee.
Sponaugle graduated from Franklin High School in 1996. He has a business administration degree from West Virginia University, which is where he also went to law school. He lives in Franklin with his wife Tasha. He is a managing partner with the law firm of Sponaugle & Sponaugle.