MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey stands by his previous statement that he is seriously considering a run for governor next year, but probably will not make a decision until mid-July despite recent announcements by his main competitors for the Republican nomination.
Monday, U.S. Rep. David McKinley, R-W.Va., said he would run for re-election to the House of Representatives from West Virginia’s 1st Congressional District, and not seek the GOP nomination for governor. McKinley had said he was seriously considering a run for governor.
Tuesday, West Virginia Senate President Bill Cole, R-Mercer, announced he would seek the Republican nomination for governor.
In May, Morrisey told The Journal’s editorial board, “We’re seriously taking a look at it,” meaning running for governor.
“We’re weighing the feedback,” he continued. “There are a lot of options to weigh. There are family decisions and financial decisions to make. And we’ll evaluate where the other potential candidates stand on the issues.”
Morrisey added that who the other candidates were would have an influence on his decision.
He had talked with Cole and McKinley about the race, he said. U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., also had been in discussions with the three about the race for governor, she told reporters.
“Ultimately, we are looking at ensuring that the Republican candidate can be governor,” Morrisey told the editorial board.
Morrisey has filed pre-candidacy papers with the secretary of state’s office, but he did not state which office he would seek.
In a statement released Monday after McKinley’s announcement, Ryan Reynolds, a spokesman for Patrick Morrisey for West Virginia, said, “Attorney General Patrick Morrisey continues to seriously consider his options in a run for governor in 2016. His primary concern has always been to improve the lives of the people of West Virginia and his decision will ultimately reflect that.”
Morrisey could not be reached for comment Tuesday.
Reportedly, he has raised more than $550,000 for his next campaign, of which $250,000 was a personal loan he made to his campaign.
The official candidate filing period is Jan. 11-30, 2016. The primary is May 10, 2016.
In 2012, Morrisey became the first Republican elected attorney general of West Virginia since 1933. Morrisey, 47, is a resident of Jefferson County.
– Staff writer John McVey can be reached at 304-263-3381, ext. 128.
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