West Virginia Attorney General McGraw seeks 6th consecutive term

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June 30, 2011

West Virginia

CHARLESTON, West Virginia:

On Wednesday, June 29, Attorney General Darrell McGraw filed paperwork indicating his intention to seek a 6th term in office.[1] He is already the Mountain State's longest-serving attorney general, and a successful bid for re-election would have McGraw holding the seat for 24 years. In West Virginia, like in most states, the attorney general is the chief legal officer, providing legal representation for state agencies and officials in civil matters and writing legal opinions.

McGraw is largely credited for the success of West Virginia's consumer protection programs and laws, building his office's Consumer Protection & Anti-Trust Division into "a nationally recognized program that enforces consumer laws against corporations and has recovered more than $2 billion for West Virginia residents."[2] He has also drawn criticism over the years for his alleged abuse of public resources and cronyism.[3] In July 2010, the Competitive Enterprise Institute named McGraw "The Nation's Fifth Worst Attorney General," which ranked the nation's state attorneys general on the basis of four criteria: "ethical breaches and selective application of the law, fabricating law, usurping legislative powers, and predatory practices."[4]

West Virginia is one of 43 states in which the attorney general is elected. Of those states, only 17 impose some type of limit on the number of terms an attorney general is permitted to serve. In some cases, there is a lifetime limit, and in other states an officeholder is restricted from serving more than two consecutive terms. West Virginia does not impose any type of term limit on the attorney general.[5]

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