A Gazette editorial from the Charleston Gazette-Mail
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — It will be no surprise that we support Democrat Doug Reynolds for state attorney general.
Reynolds has been a public defender and assistant prosecutor and lawyer in private practice. He is currently a delegate representing Wayne County, and he owns the Huntington Herald-Dispatch.
His opponent, incumbent Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, could not get elected to Congress in New Jersey. But national Republicans were looking to take over West Virginia, so they foisted Morrisey on voters, polished him up with a lot of ads and they have a ready made mouthpiece for any pet issue around the country.
Morrisey formerly earned big money as a pharmaceutical lobbyist — which makes him unsuitable to continue lawsuits his predecessor filed against drugmakers who polluted West Virginia with addictive opioids.
Morrisey leaps into out-of-state courts to help fellow Republicans win legal authority to discriminate against gays.
He leaps into out-of-state courts to help fellow Republicans try to obstruct voting by blacks, Hispanics, the poor, the young and other groups that lean Democratic.
Morrisey also leaps into courts to try to prevent federal regulators from enforcing pollution laws.
Morrisey hired a staffer who made a white supremacist video — hardly an attitude consistent with an office responsible for enforcing civil rights laws or for representing all West Virginians. He fired her hours after the Gazette-Mail published a story about it.
The Republican Attorneys General Association, funded by pharmaceutical companies, coal companies and the Koch brothers, among others, has spent nearly $5 million to re-elect Morrisey and to smear his opponent. Apparently, Morrisey is a political operative worth funding.
West Virginians were misled four years ago.
Now voters have a chance to restore the Attorney General’s Office to something that serves West Virginians and their needs, by electing Doug Reynolds.
Reynolds, a Democrat, promises just about the opposite of Morrisey — staying out of court cases in other states that don’t concern West Virginia, prioritizing fighting opioid abuse and bringing back the office’s Consumer Protection Division.
We don’t agree with him on everything. Reynolds says he would continue Morrisey’s case fighting federal carbon regulations under the Clean Power Plan. But we have no doubt that Doug Reynolds would have the interests of West Virginians foremost in his mind, and we endorse him for attorney general.