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Morrisey declared winner in U.S. Senate GOP race in West Virginia

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey has been declared by The Associated Press as the winner of the U.S. Senate GOP race in West Virginia. (WCHS/WVAH)

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey was declared by The Associated Press as the winner of the U.S. Senate GOP primary in the Mountain State.

With 94 percent of the precincts reporting, Morrisey had 35 percent while U.S. Rep. Evan Jenkins had 29 percent and former Massey Energy executive Don Blankenship had 20 percent.

Both Jenkins and Blankenship gave concession speeches Tuesday night as Morrisey appeared to be headed for the win. The Republican Party also sent out a statement congratulating Morrisey on his win.

"I congratulate Attorney General Patrick Morrisey on winning the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate,” said Melody Potter, chairwoman of the West Virginia GOP. “We are one step closer to defeating Senator Joe Manchin. I thank all the Republican candidates who ran for U.S. Senate. The voters have spoken, and I encourage all Republicans to unite behind Patrick Morrisey as the Republican Party's nominee. The WVGOP is ready to beat Joe Manchin and assist Republican candidates to victory in November."

In his acceptance speech, Morrisey said, "You're going to have a senator who works for all West Virginians."

Morrisey won in a heated six-candidate battle to win the state’s U.S. Senate GOP primary. Other candidates in the race were Bo Copley of Delbarton, Tom Willis of Martinsburg and Jack Newbrough of Weirton.

In November, Morrisey will now face incumbent U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, who defeated Paula Jean Swearengin of Coal City in the Democratic primary.

Morrisey earned a victory in a race that attracted national headlines, a barrage of political advertisements and even had President Trump weighing in to try to sway voters.

Trump urged voters not to vote for Blankenship, who he said could not defeat Manchin in the fall. The president urged voters to vote for either Morrisey or Jenkins.

Morrisey was elected as West Virginia’s attorney general in November 2012 and was re-elected to a second term in November 2016, according to the state Attorney General Office’s website. He is the first Republican to serve as attorney general in the Mountain State since 1933.

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