Former New Jersey resident Patrick Morrissey, who in 2000 lost a primary bid for the House of Representatives, found himself a job in politics Tuesday as he unseated a 20-year West Virginia attorney general.
Morrissey, who lost a four-candidate, 7th District Republican primary that included Mike Ferguson and Tom Kean Jr., has reportedly had a house in West Virginia for the past six years. Ferguson won the primary and eventually the seat, replacing Bob Franks, who had retired in order to run for U.S. Senate against Jon Corzine. Kean Jr. came in second and former Assemblyman Joel Weingarten was third.
Ferguson eventually defeated former Fanwood Mayor Maryanne Connelly to win the seat he held until 2008, when he did not run for re-election.
Morrissey narrowly won his West Virginia attorney general bid 51 to 49 over Democrat Darrell McGraw, spending $1.5 million in the process. Throughout the race, he faced accusations that he was a carpetbagger because he was admitted to the West Virginia bar just four days before announcing his bid for AG.
Morrissey and the rest of the 7th District field had leveled similar charges against Ferguson in 2000 after the Republican moved from the 6th District, where he had previously lost to U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone, to the 7th in a bid to succeed Franks.
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"Gov. Chris Christie says he won’t campaign for the Republican gubernatorial candidate in New York because the cause is hopeless: Gov. Andrew Cuomo is ahead by more than 30 points. But he will campaign in New Hampshire, over and over, where the Republican is also trailing by more than 30 points. What’s the reason? It may be that New Hampshire holds the nation’s first presidential primary. It may be that he doesn’t want to mess with Cuomo, who knows where the skeletons are buried at the Port Authority. But one thing is certain: Gov. Straight Talk is spinning again. And it seems to be habit-forming." - columnist Tom Moran- Star-Ledger
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