WEIRTON - Patrick Morrisey believes it is time for a change in the office of West Virginia's attorney general.
Morrisey, 44 of Harpers Ferry, is a Republican candidate for the office, facing off against incumbent Darrell McGraw in this year's election. He was in Weirton Saturday morning, meeting with members of the Hancock County Republican Executive Committee and discussing aspects of his campaign platform.
Morrisey, a long-time health care attorney, noted the need for ethics reform, the state's refusal to file suit against the federal government concerning President Barack Obama's health care legislation, and over-regulation on both the state and national levels as among his reasons for seeking the office.
"This is not the West Virginia and America we want," Morrisey said. "We're going to redefine the role of attorney general."
Morrisey said many of the laws passed during the last four years, including the health care legislation - also referred to as Obamacare - will put a greater burden on the states, leading to a greater burden on the people.
He said while he is in favor of "genuine health care reform," he wants to make sure it is done by reaching a common ground and in a manner that the residents of West Virginia are not getting fleeced.
Patrick Morrisey, a Republican candidate for West Virginia Attorney General, outlined some of his campaign during a stop in Weirton Saturday. Morrisey is the lone opponent to incumbent Darrell McGraw in the 2012 election. -- Craig Howell
Noting West Virginia ranks near the bottom of the list on numerous economic indicators and other issues, Morrisey said he feels a new perspective in the state attorney general's office can make all the difference.
He cited the state's motto "Montani Semper Liberi," saying the attorney general needs to serve the public interest, and one of the ways Morrisey feels he can do so is to work to reform the state's legal system and make it more business friendly.
"To me, that's not just a statement," he said. "It's got to mean something."
Morrisey also has issued a challenge to McGraw, calling for the two to debate in all 55 of West Virginia's counties, providing residents from throughout the state to hear first-hand from each of the candidates.
Originally from New Jersey, Morrisey has practiced law for 20 years with experience in health care, administrative, election and public policy law. From 1999 to 2004, he served as the deputy staff director and chief health care counsel to the U.S. House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee, where he helped to draft legislation including the Medicare Modernization Act of 2003 and the Bioterrorism and Public Health Preparedness Act of 2002.
(Howell can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)