Morrisey defends record, Capito surges in polls as gubernatorial race tightens

BECKLEY, WV (WOAY) – West Virginia’s primary elections are a mere 33 days away. As election night draws closer, a new poll shows things tightening at the top as the race grows more contentious.

Most of the candidates in the governor’s race appeared at a “Meet the Candidate Forum” that was part of the Beckley-Raleigh Chamber of Commerce’s Future Forward event. While they didn’t debate, they took questions from representatives of major local news outlets and gave remarks.

Newswatch spoke with Attorney General Patrick Morrisey just before he took the stage and asked him about his past work as a lobbyist, something his opponents have frequently pointed to. He told us his record as attorney general speaks for itself.

“I have a very strong record as attorney general. And of course, the things that they are saying are just out-and-out lies. West Virginia voters want to know the facts. They want to know who’s accomplished things for our state. I’m the proven conservative. I’ve protected the jobs,” Morrisey said. “Coal trains wouldn’t be running if we don’t win that big West Virginia vs EPA case. When you hear about the billion-dollar [opioid] settlement, we’re literally three times the rate of Kentucky, and we’re number one per capita in the country. These are things that we’ve done that the other side has not. And I think it makes a big difference for the future of our state.”

A new poll released by Metro News shows Morrisey still leading the race. However, another candidate, former delegate Moore Capito, is surging,  coming up just a few percentage points behind Morrisey.

Out of the 400 people surveyed in the poll, 31% say they support Morrisey. 29% say they support Capito.

Businessman Chris Miller garnered 16%, while Secretary of State Mac Warner claimed 12%.

Two other candidates who attended the Future Forward event, Mitch Roberts and Kevin “KC” Jackson, were not specifically named in the poll.

Steve Williams, the mayor of Huntington, is running unopposed for the Democratic nomination.

In a video released today, Capito said his campaign is well situated as the primary race enters its final stretch.

“A new poll out today shows this race is a dead heat. We are in it to win it, and we are in a great position to win,” he said.

The poll surveyed 400 people who say they will vote in the Republican primary. The timeframe of the poll was April 3 to April 9, and the overall confidence interval is 4.9 percentage points.

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