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Political strategist hired by attorney general resigns

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A veteran political operative that West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey hired and put on the state payroll last month abruptly quit on Wednesday.

Morrisey’s deputy chief of staff, Lance James Henderson, announced his resignation two days after the Charleston Gazette-Mail reported on Henderson’s hiring.

Democrats seeking Morrisey’s office and party leaders assailed Morrisey’s decision to hire Henderson and pay him $99,500 after eliminating a consumer fraud investigator position. Henderson, who has never practiced law, started working in Morrisey’s office Sept. 8.

“I can no longer allow my tenure in office to serve as a distraction to the honest service and hard work performed by the Attorney General’s Office,” Henderson said in a prepared statement. “It is with a heavy heart that I announce my resignation from service to West Virginia.”

In 2014, Henderson worked for Maine Gov. Paul LePage’s re-election campaign. For the past 25 years, he’s been a consultant to politicians on field operations and building voter databases.

On his online resume, Henderson lists his area of expertise as “strategy, message and branding, management and organization, media relations, direct and digital marketing, fundraising, research and targeting.”

Morrisey’s office has said Henderson was hired to help manage scheduling and communications…

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