KABUL, Afghanistan — A Republican attorney from Morgantown with extensive military experience is getting into the 2016 race for Secretary of State in West Virginia.

Courtesy photo

Mac Warner

Mac Warner made his campaign announcement on Friday’s MetroNews “Talkline” with Hoppy Kercheval via Skype from Kabul, Afghanistan.

“I’ve been a military officer, a lawyer, a teacher, a small business owner. I’ve managed large offices and, really, I’ve traveled around the world working on broken societies and fixing, attacking corruption and that sort of thing,” he said.

“I think those experiences have prepared me — ideally — for the Secretary of State job.”

A 23 year Army veteran, Warner is wrapping up nearly five years of work as a civilian contractor in Afghanistan with the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Justice Sector Support Program.

Speaking only generally, he said he’s been doing Rule of Law work within the Afghan Justice Sector, encompassing the Supreme Court, Ministry of Justice, Attorney General’s Office and Ministry of Women’s Affairs.

“I’d like to come home to West Virginia and do for my home state what I’ve been doing in other countries around the world,” Warner said.

He plans to return to West Virginia permanently on Jan. 6 after a brief trip back for the holidays.

Earlier this year, a group called “Bring Back Mac” was formed to encourage Warner, who had unsuccessfully sought elected offices in the past, to run for Secretary of State.

“Today, I’m answering that call,” Warner said.

Current Secretary of State Natalie Tennant, a Democrat who was first elected in 2008, has filed pre-candidacy papers to seek re-election.

There are no term limits for Secretary of State. The requirements are that a candidate for the office be a citizen entitled to vote and a resident of West Virginia for at least the preceding five years.

Warner said he is a resident of Morgantown.

The candidate filing period in West Virginia opens on Jan. 11 and continues through Jan. 30.

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