Scott Walker backs West Virginia attorney general in GOP Senate primary

Scott Walker backs West Virginia attorney general in GOP Senate primary
© Greg Nash

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) on Tuesday endorsed West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, who is seeking the Republican nomination to challenge Sen. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump says no legislation until Dems end probes Senate panel approves Interior nominee over objections from Democrats Labor head warns of 'frightening uptick' in black lung disease among miners MORE (D-W.Va.).

Walker, who ran an unsuccessful presidential campaign in 2016, praised Morrisey for his conservative record and for fighting Obama-era coal regulations.

“Patrick has fought for West Virginians while defending the rule of law, and he is ready to keep fighting for them as a champion of conservative reform in Washington, D.C.,” Walker said in a statement. 

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Morrisey said in a statement that Walker’s endorsement “will excite the many conservatives across West Virginia and the nation who have rallied to our campaign.” 

Morrisey is one of multiple Republican candidates campaigning for the GOP nomination to face Manchin in November. 

Rep. Evan JenkinsEvan Hollin JenkinsWest Virginia New Members 2019 Republican Carol Miller holds off Democrat in West Virginia House race Trump to fundraise for 3 Republicans running for open seats: report MORE (R-W.Va.) and former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship are also seeking to be the GOP standard-bearer. The three candidates will square off in a May 8 primary. 

Manchin has become a prime target of the Trump administration as it seeks to pick up Republican seats in this year’s midterms. Vice President Pence launched a series of attacks on Manchin’s voting record during a visit to the state last month.

Manchin responded that Pence’s comments are “why Washington sucks,” and suggested the vice president targeted him because of his bipartisan reputation.

The Cook Political Report, a nonpartisan election handicapper, rates the West Virginia Senate race as a "toss-up."

President TrumpDonald John TrumpNASA exec leading moon mission quits weeks after appointment The Hill's Morning Report — After contentious week, Trump heads for Japan Frustration boils over with Senate's 'legislative graveyard' MORE won a larger share of the vote in West Virginia than in any other state.