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W.Va. attorney general probes run for governor

Journal file photo Patrick Morrisey
Journal file photo
Patrick Morrisey

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey announced Thursday that he has raised $310,000 in campaign donations since filing his 2016 pre-candidacy papers at the end of January.

However, he did not declare in his pre-candidacy filing which office he will run for next year.

Morrisey, a Republican, will complete his four-year term as attorney general in 2017. He has said he is considering a run for governor.

“He is considering running for governor, but we are not making an announcement now,” Ryan Reynolds, a spokesman for Patrick Morrisey for West Virginia, said Thursday in a telephone interview. “He will review his options over the next few months.”

According to a news release, Morrisey has more than $546,000 cash on hand.

“Morrisey … may use the resources for re-election, or for another office, including governor,” the news release states.

According to an Associated Press report, the $310,000 includes a self-loan of $250,000.

On the list of those who have filed pre-candidacy papers on the West Virginia secretary of state’s office website, Morrisey’s mailing address is listed as 303 Shawnee Circle, Charleston. In 2012, he filed as a resident of Harpers Ferry.

Other Republicans who have expressed an interest in running for governor are state Senate President Bill Cole and 1st District Congressman David McKinley.

Andrew Utterback, a Republican from Pineville, has filed pre-candidacy papers to run for governor.

Democrat Jeff Kessler, state Senate minority leader, has filed pre-candidacy papers, declaring he is running for governor.

U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., has said he is considering running for governor. He served as governor from 2004 to 2010, when he won a special election to complete the unfulfilled term of Sen. Robert C. Byrd, who died in office. Manchin was elected to a full six-year Senate term in 2012.

David Dunstan Moran of Jane Lew has filed pre-candidacy papers for governor on the Libertarian Party ticket, and Phil Hudok of Mill Creek has filed pre-candidacy papers for governor on the Constitution Party ticket.

Democrat Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin cannot run for re-election because of term limits.

– Staff writer John McVey can be reached at 304-263-3381, ext. 128.

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