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Patrick James Morrisey became the first Republican elected West Virginia attorney general since 1933 after defeating longtime officeholder Darrell McGraw in 2012. Morrisey, born December 21, 1967, in Brooklyn, New York, grew up in Edison, New Jersey. He studied history and political science at Rutgers University in New Jersey, where he earned his bachelor’s and law degrees.

In 1999, Morrisey became deputy staff director and chief health care counsel to the Energy and Commerce Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives. In 2000, he made an unsuccessful run for political office in New Jersey as a candidate for the House of Representatives. Morrisey was in private practice from 2004 until 2012, when he resigned to run for West Virginia attorney general. Morrisey has been a resident of the state since 2006 when he bought a house in Harpers Ferry while continuing to maintain a residence in Washington. He married his wife, Denise Henry, in 2008.

During the campaign for attorney general, Morrisey received support from industry groups who were opposed to McGraw’s focus on consumer protection. Morrisey criticized McGraw for not challenging federal health care reform and other regulations. In turn, McGraw questioned Morrisey’s ties to the state. Morrisey defeated McGraw in a close election November 6, 2012, and was inaugurated January 14, 2013. He was reelected attorney general in 2016 and 2020. In 2018 he won the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate seat held by Joe Manchin but lost in the general election.

In April 2023, Morrisey announced he would run for governor in 2024.

Last Revised on June 20, 2023

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e-WV: The West Virginia Encyclopedia "Patrick Morrisey." e-WV: The West Virginia Encyclopedia. 20 June 2023. Web. 14 April 2024.


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