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Hopefuls for Attorney General position file for candidacy

CHARLESTON — The race for Attorney General in West Virginia is shaping up.

State Auditor J.B. McCuskey, state Sen. Mike Stuart, both Republicans, filed for the May 14 primary this week while Wheeling attorney Teresa Toriseva said Tuesday on MetroNews “Talkline” she’ll seek the Democrat Party’s nomination.

The race for the office is open this year with three-term AG Patrick Morrisey running for governor.

Stuart, who filed for office Tuesday afternoon, said his time as federal prosecutor during the Trump administration has given him the experience necessary to step into the AG’s office and keep moving.

“I just think it’s critically important that we continue the aggressive work of the attorney general and have somebody who is ready to get to work day one to protect the people of West Virginia,” Stuart said.

He said he has a unique background, including being chosen by former President Donald Trump to be U.S. Attorney.

“I would not be running just for the title or just for the job. I’m not running to be attorney general, I’m running to do attorney general,” Stuart said Tuesday.

McCuskey, who is finishing his second four-year term as state auditor, filed for office Monday in Clarksburg. He also said the state needs protecting.

“I believe that I have a really unique opportunity to help the next governor both protect our state from rogue Washingtonians and Californians who don’t believe our way of life iS appropriate and defend our values,” McCuskey said.

Toriseva, who has been a plaintiff’s attorney in several high-profile cases, including representing Morgantown firefighters in a holiday pay dispute with the city and women concerned about secret video taping at the State Police Academy, said she has the experience to be an effective attorney general.

“I want to bring my courtroom experience to the role. I have 30 years of it, representing regular folks in courtrooms all over the state and all over the country and I’m looking forward to doing that in the role of attorney general,” Toriseva said on Talkline.

Stuart, who ran and won a seat in the state Senate in 2022, said he’ll be outspent in the race but that’s nothing new.

“The biggest challenge is going to be money because I don’t come with a fat wallet or a famous last name,” Stuart said. “Everything I’ve done through the course of my life has been through hard work.”

Stuart said he was outspent 2 to 1 in the race for Senate against incumbent Ron Stollings.

“I’ve always been the guy with less money,” Stuart said.

McCuskey, a former member of the House of Delegates before his two-terms has auditor, said he’s built a record over eight years that includes saving money, helping cities and towns get rid of dilapidated buildings and improving transparency through the West Virginia Checkbook program.

“Public service in West Virginia is a passion and there is nothing on earth than I work harder for than to allow the people that I live with, the people of the Mountain State, finally achieve the greatness that this place promises,” McCuskey said.

McCuskey had originally planned a run for governor this year but decided to drop out of the crowded GOP field.

Toriseva said she knows being a Democrat in a red state will present an uphill battle but she said being attorney general is not about being a Democrat or a Republican.

“You remember who you are talking to and that’s everybody,” she said. “We stop with the nasty, partisan politics and we deal with the problems of everybody.”

The candidate filing deadline is midnight Saturday.