Morrisey takes on Manchin: Attorney General announces run for U.S. Senate seat
At a well-attended rally at the Clarion Hotel in Harpers Ferry Monday, West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey announced his intention to seek a seat in the U.S. Senate. Morrisey will take on Democratic Senator Joe Manchin in the 2018 election.
Morrisey shared several reasons why he believes now is the time to move forward in the path to the Senate including challenges West Virginia is facing in workforce numbers, poverty and the drug epidemic.
“I am mindful of the challenges of the state and the country,” Morrisey said to a standing-room only crowd. “And I come with a sense of hope and purpose.”
Morrisey spoke of his desire as a conservative candidate, to work to fix the broken economy in West Virginia. He claimed a globalized division of labor has led to economic dislocation and cultural disruption that have, in turn, caused West Virginia to “bleed population.’
“Many West Virginians are struggling for economic opportunities,” Morrisey said. “The elite in Boston, New York and Washington talk about the economy but they don’t work to fix it.”
Morrisey especially questioned what Manchin has done while in office.
“Not much,” Morrisey said in answer to his own question. “And even less that we can call conservative.” He went on to accuse Manchin of “campaigning to the right and voting to the left.”
“This is not a winning formula for West Virginia,” Morrisey said to cheers from the crowd.
Morrisey expounded on his success as the state’s Attorney General with regard to battling corruption in Charleston and his stand for conservative values. He was elected to that office in 2012, successfully ousting five-term Democrat incumbent Darrel McGraw.
As Attorney General, Morrisey said he helped defend the state’s coal miners and the mining industry from excessive federal regulations. He led more than two dozen other state attorneys general in filing a lawsuit challenging the EPA’s Clean Power Plan to regulate coal-fired power plant emissions
He also said that when he took the office, he returned $40 million to the general fund because “it was the taxpayer’s money.”
Morrisey has led the charge to create a Disability Fraud Unit in the state that saved the state $4.1 million.
His office “took on Obamacare” and won, he said. He also touted a fight for Second Amendment rights against ‘gun grabbers’ that “we won.”
Under his leadership, the Attorney General’s office has also reached the largest pharmaceutical settlement in the state’s history, receiving $47 million and worked to create faith-based treatment initiatives “to help more people get their heads and their hearts straight.”
“We have gone after the people that have poisoned our kids,” Morrisey said. “We have cut the number of prescribed opiates in West Virginia,” he added.
“I have fought and delivered real conservative results as Attorney General,” Morrisey said. “In the Senate,” I can build on our work in the AG’s office.”
Morrisey stated his belief that West Virginia needs to return to its core values and rediscover the state. He indicated his desire to take on forces of the status quo and win, fighting for the ‘little guy.’
Speaking of his battle against Manchin, Morrisey said that he does not believe the current Senator is up to the tough challenges.
“We must repeal Obamacare that is costing our citizens; we must defend gun rights that Joe Manchin has abandoned,” Morrisey said of a few issues. He also advocated defunding Planned Parenthood and working to re-build an eroding level of trust in Washington.
Morrisey is the third Republican to set a course for the Senate. Also announcing intentions to run are U.S. Rep. Evan Jenkins, R-W.Va., who was a Democrat until 2013 and Bo Copley, a coal miner.
Manchin faces challenges within his own party from environmental activist Paula Swearengin.