Congress, Elections, State Government, West Virginia Legislature

Republican Delegate Moore Capito announces run for governor; Secretary of State Mac Warner says he’s considering running

MORGANTOWN — The Republican field for the 2024 gubernatorial primary got a bit more crowded on Tuesday. Secretary of State Mac Warner said he’s considering a run and House of Delegates Judiciary Chair Moore Capito announced his candidacy.

Warner announced his intentions in a Tuesday morning release, citing his love for West Virginia.

“People and experiences across West Virginia shaped me into the person I am today. Each pillar of my life — God, family, country and business — instilled a desire to serve, and molded me as a leader who sets priorities, builds teams and takes care of people. I wake up every day with a burning desire to serve West Virginia and make it better.”

He said he’s been speaking with people across the state since the mid-term election on Nov. 8 and he’s received positive reactions to his work as secretary.

“People want a leader who will continue the serious work, which needs to be done to improve education, promote West Virginia energy production, build out infrastructure, and enhance our economy,” he said. “This is why I am giving every consideration to running for governor in 2024.”

He cites his 25 years of military service and calls himself a “battle-tested constitutional conservative.”

Warner said he plans to make a final decision in January, after the holidays, and will make an official announcement of his intentions at that time.

Capito is a grandson of former Gov. Arch Moore and son of Sen. Shelley Moore Capito. He announced his candidacy on MetroNews’ Talkline with Hoppy Kerchevel. Answering Kercheval’s question about where he falls on the GOP political spectrum, he said, “I think I’m a West Virginia conservative.”

He followed that announcement with several tweets and a short campaign video, where he said, “I have a special personal commitment to the state of West Virginia and its citizens to bring my energy, creativity and best efforts to seeing our goals achieved.”

In the tweets, he said. “Together, we can build a West Virginia that makes our young people proud to call home and champions freedom to conduct business how you want. … The best days are still ahead for our great state, but it will take a team. Let’s get it done.”

Also in the running for the GOP nomination is another Congressional son, auto dealer Chris Miller, son of Rep. Carol Miller, who represents the 1st Congressional District.

Others Republicans who’ve put their names in the hat are Terri Bradshaw of Gandeeville and Rashida Yost of Martinsburg. Former Republican, now representing the America Coming Together party, is former Delegate S. Marshall Wilson, of Gerrardstown.

Capito’s cousin and another grandson of Arch Moore, Republican state Treasurer Riley Moore, is running for the 2nd Congressional District seat held by Rep. Alex Mooney, who is running for U.S. Senate — possibly against Democrat Joe Manchin, although Manchin hasn’t yet announced his intentions for 2024.

Republican Alex Gaaserud of Elkins on Tuesday also announced his candidacy for the 2nd District seat.

Gov. Jim Justice said he also is eyeing a run for Senate, though he hasn’t officially decided yet, and would face Mooney in the primary.

And Republican Attorney General Patrick Morrisey said he expects to run for some office, but hasn’t decided which.

In a letter released last week he said, “It is my sincerest hope that I will be a candidate for public office in 2024. … We have a very deep record, as strong as any potential candidate in the nation for either the U.S. Senate or for governor. I have been asked to consider running for these two positions, as well as the U.S. House in the northern part of the state, or stand for re-election as attorney general. I want to give all of these options appropriate and due consideration.”

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