Patrick Morrisey

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Patrick Morrisey
Patrick J Morrisey.jpg
Attorney General of West Virginia
In office
January 14, 2013-Present
Term ends
Years in position 2
PredecessorDarrell V. McGraw, Jr. (D)
Base salary$95,000
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 6, 2012
First electedNovember 6, 2012
Next generalNovember 8, 2016
Campaign $$2,062,273
Term limitsNone
High schoolBishop George Ahr/St Thomas Aquinas
Bachelor'sRutgers College-New Brunswick
J.D.Rutgers University Law School--Newark
Place of birthNew Jersey
Office website
Personal website
Campaign website
Patrick Morrisey campaign logo
Patrick Morrisey is the current Attorney General of West Virginia. He was first elected in 2012 and took office on January 14, 2013. Morrisey is the first Republican to hold the office since 1933, and the first attorney general from Jefferson County.[1]

Morrisey defeated five term incumbent Darrell McGraw (D) in the general election on November 6, 2012 by a margin of 51.2 percent to 48.8 percent.[2] He campaigned as business-friendly, as opposed to McGraw, who was seen as more consumer oriented.[3]

A February 2013 article in Governing named Morrisey as one of the top state Republican officials to watch in 2013.[3]

A practicing attorney since 1992, Morrisey took part in the multi-state challenge to the federal Affordable Care Act of 2010 and counseled Congress members who sought to repeal it.[1]


Formerly employed at corporate law firm Sidley Austin, Morrisey moved to the Washington, D.C. office of global law firm of King & Spalding in 2010. As partner, his contributions to the firm have been primarily in the areas of health-care reform and regulatory policy. Morrisey authored and negotiated health care legislation relating to Medicare, Medicaid, and the FDA while serving as deputy staff director and chief health counsel for the House Energy and Commerce Committee.[4]

During his 20 year legal career, Morrisey has handled administrative law, election law, public policy, and several criminal defense matters. Between most of 1999 to 2004, Morrisey served as the Deputy Staff Director and Chief Healthcare Counsel to the House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee. In that capacity, Morrisey helped draft and negotiate major legislation, including the Medicare Modernization Act of 2003 and the Bioterrorism and Public Health Preparedness Act of 2002. Morrisey was the principal liaison for the Committee on health care issues to the White House, the U.S. Senate, the House of Representatives, the Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. As Deputy Staff Director, Morrisey was also familiar with other issues under the Committee’s jurisdiction, including consumer protection, energy, and environmental matters.

Morrisey has been very active in the Eastern Panhandle community since moving to West Virginia in 2006. He has written a regular column for the Spirit of Jefferson newspaper and volunteered for the Potomac Street Project, an ongoing effort to rebuild part of downtown Harpers Ferry. A member of the Eastern Panhandle Business Association, Morrisey has also served on the Jefferson County Republican Executive Committee.

Originally from New Jersey, Morrisey earned a bachelor of arts in history and political science from Rutgers College in 1989 and a J.D. from Rutgers Law School-Newark, in 1992. A product of a working-class family, Morrisey is licensed to practice law in West Virginia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and the District of Columbia.[5]


  • Bishop George Ahr/St Thomas Aquinas (1985)
  • Bachelor of Arts, History and Political Science, Philosophy, Rutgers College-New Brunswick
  • J.D., Rutgers University-Newark (1992)

Political career

Attorney General of West Virginia (2013-present)

Morrisey assumed office as West Virginia's 34th attorney general on January 14, 2013. He unseated five term incumbent Darrell V. McGraw, Jr, a Democrat, in the general election on November 6, 2012.



See also: West Virginia attorney general election, 2012 and West Virginia state executive official elections, 2012

Morrisey announced his bid to challenge incumbent Darrell McGraw (D) for his seat as Attorney General of West Virginia on January 28, 2012. Both candidates ran unopposed in their respective parties' primaries on May 8,[4] and Morrisey defeated incumbent Darrell McGraw on November 6, 2012.[2]

Attorney General of West Virginia General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Darrell McGraw Incumbent 48.8% 267,135
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngPatrick Morrisey 51.2% 280,695
Total Votes 547,830
Election Results West Virginia Secretary of State Election Results Center.


Morrisey received endorsements from the West Virginia Farm Bureau[6] and The West Virginians for Life Political Action Committee (WVL PAC).[7]


  • Health-care reform

Morrisey's campaign centerpiece was supporting the multi-state effort to repeal Obamacare. Morrisey strongly opposed McGraw's refusal to join the 26-state legal challenge to the reform, accusing the long-time attorney general of "standing by as the administration saddled West Virginians with new financial burdens, rising health care costs and unconstitutional mandates."[8] He said his experience as a health care and regulatory lawyer made him the right choice to handle the state's current "budget shortfalls," wherein 20% of the total budget is spent on health care.[9]

  • New office proposal

Morrisey proposed to use the position of attorney general to reallocate resources to create an Office of Federalism and Freedom. "That office will identify and challenge unconstitutional laws -- and West Virginians will know what it is to have a believer in freedom and limited government as attorney general.”[10]

  • Regulation

Morrisey stated that the climate of excessive regulation which McGraw fostered throughout his tenure as attorney general has been detrimental to West Virginia's economic health. After 20 years under McGraw, Morrisey said that the state needed "a strong, new voice – someone with the experience, knowledge, and leadership to change the Office of Attorney General and help restrain Washington's appetite for spending, regulations, and mandates."[11] His opposition to the Obama administration’s rulings against the state’s coal industry was among the most popular and salient stances of his campaign. According to Morrisey, McGraw has not taken appropriate action to combat the federal government's "War On Coal." During a June campaign stop in Martinsburg, he accused McGraw of "doing nothing while the Environmental Protection Agency runs roughshod over our top industry."[10]

  • Ethics

Morrisey devised an 11-point ethics reform plan for improving transparency and honest spending of settlement monies within the attorney general's office. As delineated on his campaign website, the tent-poles of his reform proposal called for hiring private lawyers through a competitive bidding process, returning settlement income to the taxpayers, and directing discretionary earnings toward "job creation over trinket distribution."[12] In a May interview with The State Journal he accused McGraw of the unethical practice of keeping a "piggy bank" of settlement money for self-promotion, which Morrisey vowed to put to an end, if elected.[9]

  • Abortion

Morrisey is staunchly pro-life. If elected, he pledged to "fight to protect the unborn."[12]

  • Second Amendment

Morrisey is a gun-owner and advocate of protecting West Virginia's Second Amendment rights from federal overreach.[12]


McGraw v. Morrisey for Attorney General
Poll Darrell McGraw Patrick MorriseyUndecidedMargin of ErrorSample Size
Charleston Daily Mail by R.L. Repass & Partners
(August 22-25, 2012)
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to


Morrisey has lived in West Virginia since 2006 and was admitted to the state bar on January 24, 2012, four days before filing to run for Attorney General. Reports about the last-minute licensing elicited questions about his intentions and commitment to serving in one of West Virginia's top offices.


Morrisey was a 2000 Republican primary election candidate for New Jersey's 7th Congressional District Seat. He raised over $240,000 for the campaign, mostly in small individual donations.[13] He received the least number of votes of the four candidates, and Mike Ferguson secured the Republican nomination.[14]

Campaign donors

Comprehensive donor information for Morrissey is available dating back to 2012. Based on available campaign finance records, Morrissey raised a total of $2,062,273 during that time period. This information was last updated on May 20, 2013.[15]

Patrick Morrisey's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2012 Attorney General of West Virginia Won $2,062,273
Grand Total Raised $2,062,273


Morrisey won election to the position of Attorney General of West Virginia in 2012. During that election cycle, Morrisey raised a total of $2,062,273.


Morrisey currently resides in Harpers Ferry with his wife and stepdaughter.


Campaign contact:

Morrisey for Attorney General
PO Box 820
Charles Town, WV 25414

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See also

External links

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Political offices
Preceded by
Darrell McGraw (D)
West Virginia Attorney General
Succeeded by