Morrisey beats McGraw in attorney general race - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

Morrisey beats McGraw in attorney general race

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The race for attorney general had a major upset with Republican challenger Patrick Morrisey beating longtime incumbent Democrat Darrell McGraw, according to unofficial election results.

The Associated Press called Morrisey as the winner at 12:45 a.m.  

With 97 percent of precincts reporting,  Morrisey pulled ahead of McGraw by approximately 13,000 votes.

It was a close race with Morrisey capturing 51 percent of the votes and McGraw receiving 49 percent. 

Originally from New Jersey, Morrisey is a Harpers Ferry health care lawyer.

"With your help, West Virginia made a significant change tonight that was long overdue," Morrisey said in a statement. "I'm honored and humbled to have been chosen as your next attorney general, and promise that I will carry out the duties of that office in an honorable and effective manner."

"For too long, this state has been under attack from the Environmental Protection Agency and overreaching laws and regulations, such as Obamacare," Morrisey later added. "These Obama policies have harmed West Virginia. It's now time for West Virginia's Attorney General to fight back."

Morrisey congratulated McGraw for what he called a "spirited campaign."

"He has spent a long career in public service, and for that we should be grateful," he said, later adding, "We have a bold vision for what the office of attorney general can do to protect jobs and consumers in this state, improve West Virginia's business and legal climate and advance ethics reform. We will soon begin to execute that plan in a manner that will make West Virginia proud."

McGraw initially was elected in 1992 and is finishing his fifth term. 

This isn't the first close election McGraw has faced. In 2008, McGraw beat Republican challenger Dan Greear with 50.39 percent of the votes.

In 2004, McGraw won against challenger Hiram Lewis by about 6,000 votes.

The 1996 and 1992 elections also were close with McGraw winning by 51.1 percent and 51.6 percent of the votes respectively.