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Political Musical Chairs: McCuskey Swaps Governor Dreams for AG Amidst Strong Reactions from Other Candidates

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Charleston – A declaration from State Auditor JB McCuskey that he’s running for Attorney General in 2024 has brought swift reactions from those already in the race.

Previously, the Republican Auditor had said he was running for governor next year. Today, McCuskey confirmed that rumors were true: he will campaign instead to replace current GOP Attorney General Patrick Morrisey who is, himself, running for Governor.

State Senator Ryan Weld, who was first to announce his candidacy for AG, accused McCuskey of being obsessed with being Governor.

Weld said, after McCuskey found little support for him to be Governor this time, he is using the AG’s office as a stepping stone to be Governor later.

Former United States Attorney and now Kanawha County State Senator Mike Stuart said he thinks McCuskey’s entry will leave it to the 

Auditor and Weld to “compete for the moderate vote” while he will be solidly supported by conservatives in the party. 

McCuskey was found, in most early surveys, running fourth or fifth for the Republican Governor nomination.

As chief executive, he faced formidable opposition from a field generally headed by Morrisey and including Secretary of State Mac Warner, Kanawha Delegate Moore Capito, and Huntington businessman Chris Miller.

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McCuskey quickly unveiled his “McCuskey for Attorney General” logo on social media.

Meanwhile, Weld distributed a press release from his Northern Panhandle campaign office in Wellsburg.

“I have never shied away from competition or confrontation,” the Senator declared. “I welcome anyone to this race – because I’m confident that I’m the most qualified to be West Virginia’s next Attorney General.”

He goes on, “It is clear that JB McCuskey is scrambling. After his bid to become Governor failed to gain any traction whatsoever, he has abandoned that campaign, and jumped into yet another statewide race.”

Weld continued, “It is obvious that McCuskey is doing all that he can to remain relevant until he can run for Governor again in eight years.”

For his part, Stuart reiterated earlier campaign statements that he is the only true conservative in the race.

“Google it,” he said. “See if you can find any time either of the other two endorsed (former President Donald) Trump,” Stuart said. I sure did but they didn’t and he endorsed and appointed me as U.S. Attorney.”

Stuart went on, “The entry of another moderate into the race … is no big deal. I was running against one moderate now I’m simply running against two.”

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Weld said he does not intend to use the AG office as a “stepping stone” to being eventually elected Governor.

Another attorney rumored to be considering a run for AG is former Charleston Mayor candidate JB Akers.

Statement from Mike Stuart on McCuskey

Statement from Ryan Weld on McCuskey

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  • Ron Gregory

    From Mayor of Glenville at age 26 to Assistant Mayor of Charleston, management of various public entities, and countless political races in West Virginia – Ron Gregory is the most noted political correspondent in the state. View all posts

From Mayor of Glenville at age 26 to Assistant Mayor of Charleston, management of various public entities, and countless political races in West Virginia - Ron Gregory is the most noted political correspondent in the state.