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Senate Majority Whip Ryan Weld Suspends Attorney General Campaign, Seeks Re-election to West Virginia Senate
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Decision to Stay in Senate: A Personal Journey

After over seven months of active campaigning for the Republican nomination for West Virginia’s next attorney general, Senate Majority Whip Ryan Weld has decided to suspend his bid. Instead, he will seek re-election for a third four-year term in the West Virginia Senate for the 1st District. This district encompasses Hancock, Brooke, and Ohio counties, along with part of Marshall County.

Insights from Statewide Travel: Finding Home in the Northern Panhandle

Weld’s announcement on Wednesday revealed that his decision to remain in the Senate was influenced by extensive statewide travel over the past seven months. Reflecting on this journey, Weld felt at home with his family in the Northern Panhandle, particularly in Wellsburg. He emphasized a commitment to not compromise his principles and beliefs, a realization that played a pivotal role in steering him away from the attorney general race.

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Accomplished Senate Career: A Record of Service

Having served two terms in the state Senate since his initial election in 2016, Weld is a prominent figure in West Virginia politics. He currently holds the position of majority whip in the Republican caucus, serves as vice chairman of the powerful Senate Judiciary Committee, and chairs the Senate Military Committee. Additionally, Weld served one term in the House of Delegates and is married to Alex Weld, the executive director of Generation West Virginia.

Shifting Landscape: Remaining Republican Candidates for Attorney General

With Weld withdrawing from the attorney general race, State Auditor J.B. McCuskey and state Sen. Mike Stuart, R-Kanawha, are now the remaining Republican candidates vying to succeed Attorney General Patrick Morrisey.

McCuskey and Stuart: Profiles of the Remaining Contenders

J.B. McCuskey, currently wrapping up his second term as state auditor, transitioned to the attorney general race after initially announcing his candidacy for governor. On the other hand, Mike Stuart, an attorney with Dinsmore and Shohl, assumed office as a state senator in 2022, representing the newly redistricted seventh senatorial district.

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Fundraising Dynamics: A Factor in Weld’s Decision

In explaining his decision, Weld highlighted the evolving nature of political campaigns, emphasizing that the focus shifted increasingly toward political fundraising. While McCuskey boasts a substantial cash-on-hand of over $533,000, Weld raised $195,292 in election year-to-date contributions. Stuart, critical of McCuskey’s funding sources, raised $68,259 with $107,798 in cash on hand.

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Unwillingness to Compromise: A Principle-Driven Stance

Weld acknowledged the pressure to compromise on principles to secure funding for the campaign but asserted his unwillingness to alter his identity or campaign messaging. Despite opportunities for significant donations, Weld prioritized maintaining the integrity of his campaign and staying true to his beliefs.

Looking Forward: A Grateful Leader’s Perspective

Expressing gratitude for the support received during his attorney general campaign, Weld looks forward to continuing his Senate leadership role. If successful in his re-election bid in 2024, Weld anticipates becoming the new chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, succeeding state Sen. Charles Trump.

In conclusion, Weld’s decision reflects a commitment to personal principles and a dedication to representing the Northern Panhandle in the West Virginia Senate. As the attorney general race narrows, the dynamics within the Republican Party continue to evolve, setting the stage for an intriguing political landscape in West Virginia.

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