Elections, West Virginia Legislature

State Sen. Ryan Weld leaves attorney general race to run for his Senate seat

MORGANTOWN – The three-way Republican race for state attorney general has become a two-way race.

State Sen. Ryan Weld, R-Brooke, announced Wednesday morning that he is leaving the race to seek reelection to his Senate seat. That leaves state Auditor J.B. McCuskey and state Sen. Mike Stuart, R-Kanawha, as the two GOP contenders in the May 2024 primary.

Weld is Senate majority whip and Judiciary Committee vice chair. He said in his announcement that he and his wife, Alex, have been traveling the state since his April announcement for the AG’s office.

“Those trips, and the people we met along the way, renewed my love for the Mountain State and the people who call it home,” he said. “Over the last seven months, I’ve learned a lot not only about West Virginia but about myself as well. All of which has led to my decision today.”

Weld said politics can lead candidates to compromise their core principles for political gain, and that’s not who he is, and that’s why he decided to change course. “As a member of the Senate, I can continue to fight for West Virginia and play a significant role in its future – without losing sight of who I am or why I got into public office in the first place.”

While he enjoyed elements of the campaign trail – parades, dinners, meeting folks – he said, “that’s not all a statewide campaign is about – and the never-ending asks for campaign contributions, as well as the constant deal-making can really wear on a person’s conscience.”

He said, “While I will always be committed to helping all of West Virginia, I have learned that I am truly at home in the Northern Panhandle, and in Wellsburg with Alex and all of our family here.”

McCuskey said in an afternoon release, “I have the utmost respect for Sen. Weld and his contributions to our state. His dedication to public service and tireless work on behalf of the people of West Virginia is commendable. Our state is better because of leaders like Senator Weld, and I wish him continued success in his future endeavors.”

As we reported in October, the three candidates’ quarterly campaign finance reports showed McCuskey far ahead in fundraising. He had switched in July from running for governor to the AG’s race.

At the end of the July 1-Sept. 30 reporting period, he had an account balance $533,131.02. His year-to-date totals were $797,658.06 raised and $267,805.99 spent.

Weld had a balance of $162,785.24. His year-to-date totals were $195,291.73 raised and $29,521.77 spent.

Stuart had a balance of $107,797.98. His year-to-date totals were $68,259.40 raised (excluding some loans from himself to his campaign) and $22,462.91 spent.

No Democrats have yet declared.

Email: dbeard@dominionpost.com