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Morrisey Challenges Other West Virginia Gov Candidates to Debates

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey has challenged the other Republican candidates in the race for governor to a “series of debates” early next year.

In a letter released by his gubernatorial campaign addressed to State Del. Moore Capito, R-Kanawha, West Virginia Secretary of State Mac Warner and businessman Chris Miller, Morrisey proposed a series of three debates to begin next February.

The debates, timed for just after the candidate filing deadline on Jan. 27, would allow the state’s GOP voters “to hear directly from the candidates who have taken steps to run for governor of our incredible state,” Morrisey said in the letter.

“During debates, serious questions must be asked between actual candidates who file and demonstrate some level of support,” he said. “If you don’t even plan to file, why should you be at a debate?”

Kent Gates, a spokesperson for the Capito campaign said Morrisey’s letter is a “bad faith stunt” meant to distract voters.

“There is a debate scheduled for December that Moore, Warner and Miller have all agreed to participate in,” Gates said. “Morrisey is ducking for good reason.”

Although it was not styled as a formal debate, the four candidates participated in a question-and-answer session during the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Meeting and Business Summit at the end of August.

Capito, who is the son of U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., and the grandson of former Gov. Arch Moore, said the state’s “most pressing economic and moral” issue is the future of its children and grandchildren.

Miller said state government should be run “more like a business;” Morrisey described himself as “one proven conservative” in the race; and Warner discussed his “life of service” in the military and U.S. State Department.

The candidates recently filled their third quarter campaign finance reports, which continued to show Miller leading in terms of dollars on hand.

Miller, the son of U.S. Rep. Carol Miller, R-W.Va., and head of the Dutch Miller Auto Group, received $267,015.39 in total contributions and spent $104,981.51 during the filling period of July 1 to Sept 30.

Miller’s campaign had an ending balance of $3,648,147.79, which includes three loans Miller has given his own campaign, in the amounts of $750,000, $150,000 and $2 million.

“It’s clear that our message of making our state great again resonates with West Virginia’s hardworking families, and I am grateful for the growing support we’ve received,” said Miller in a statement released by his campaign. “West Virginians are ready for a leader who will maximize our state’s incredible potential and build a government that treats its taxpayers like customers.”

Morrisey’s campaign had an ending balance of $1,509,937.44.

Morrisey’s filing also lists $102,500 in debts, $500 of which is for “unpaid bills.”

The remaining $102,000 of debt is from two loans Morrisey has made to his own campaign — in the amounts of $60,000 and $42,000.

Capito received total contributions of $282,516.83 and had $126,476.25 in total expenditures during the filling period.

Capito’s campaign had an ending balance of $1,103,743.49.

Warner’s campaign received total contributions of $69,446.47 and had $53,985.18 in total expenditures during the filing period.

Warner’s campaign had an ending balance of $209,511.73.

Source: WV News