As someone with friends on both sides of the political aisle, elections stress me out. But this year, in my opinion, there is one race about which most of us in the Eastern Panhandle should be able to agree. Our neighbor Patrick Morrisey, of Harpers Ferry, is running against 20-year incumbent attorney general Darrell McGraw. I think there is much to unite local voters of all stripes behind Morrisey.
Of course, it would be great to see someone from the Eastern Panhandle elected to statewide office for the first time. But beyond geographical considerations, it has become painfully obvious that, after 20 years, it's time for new blood in the AG's office. We see this every day when we drive to our jobs across state lines, because the adverse legal climate has chased businesses out of West Virginia. We see it when the attorney general's office uses an inordinate amount of state money on name-recognition-enhancing ads during an election year. And perhaps we see it most clearly when (unlike his fellow incumbent Democrats President Obama, Governor Tomblin, and Senator Manchin) McGraw shows contempt for voters by refusing to debate his opponent, citing reasons that the national news outlet Politico labeled "absurd."
By contrast, Patrick Morrisey is communicating openly with West Virginia voters. He would strike the right balance between robust consumer protection and a job-friendly environment for our state. He would end the cronyism and use of trinkets in the attorney general's office. He would bring the change our state government badly needs. It's no wonder that a whopping eight out of nine West Virginia newspapers have endorsed Morrisey for attorney general. I hope eight out of nine Eastern Panhandle voters will make the same decision.