West Virginia Attorney Gen. Patrick Morrisey pulled off an upset in the Republican primary for Senate, beating out coal baron Don Blankenship and Rep. Evan Jenkins to secure the GOP nomination in May.
Although the race leans Democrat, according to Fox News’ rankings, it’s one where Republicans hope to have the chance to unseat incumbent Joe Manchin, a Democrat who first won the seat in a 2010 special election.
President Trump, who endorsed Morrisey in the primary, has set his sights on helping Morrisey in November. He is heading to the Mountaineer State on Aug. 21 for a rally for the state attorney general.
“I have done so much for West Virginia, against all odds, and having Patrick, a real fighter, by my side, would make things so much easier,” Trump said in a tweet.
Morrisey is the first Republican to serve as attorney general in West Virginia since 1933, his campaign website boasts. First elected to serve in the position in 2012, he was re-elected in 2016.
In his campaign, Morrisey, 50, has harped on his efforts as attorney general to curtail the state’s opioid epidemic. He sued the Drug Enforcement Administration, saying it allows companies to not take into account patients’ needs when selling drugs. And his office has reached settlements with pharmaceutical distributors for about $47 million, the largest in the state’s history, according to his campaign website.
But his past work as a health care attorney and his wife’s work as a lobbyist who has represented several pharmaceutical clients, including those involved in opioids, came under scrutiny during the primary.
His wife’s lobbying firm was also paid $460,000 by Planned Parenthood, the Charleston Gazette-Mail reported last year. Morrisey has said he is staunchly anti-abortion, opposing taxpayer dollars going to Planned Parenthood and supporting a repeal of Roe v. Wade.
In an interview with Fox News, Morrisey said he's worked with Trump to get rid of some Obama administration regulations and to "go after" sanctuary cities. He said he has an "excellent" relationship with the president.
Morrisey was endorsed in the primary by the conservative National Review, which heralded him as a “rock-solid, independent-minded conservative who would be a valuable addition to the right flank of the Republican caucus.”
Fox News' Peter Doocy and Alex Pappas contributed to this report.