CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The former chairman of President Donald Trump’s West Virginia campaign is going to become the top federal prosecutor in the southern half of the state.
Charleston attorney Mike Stuart was confirmed Wednesday to serve as the next U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of West Virginia.
President Donald Trump nominated him for the position in September.
Stuart replaces acting U.S. Attorney Carol Casto. She was appointed after former U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin resigned in Dec. 2015 to run for governor, a bid which he lost.
Stuart said his first priority is to combat the state’s drug epidemic.
“I’m going to spend every moment of every waking hour, seven days a week, 365 days a year focused on this epidemic until we get it to the point that it’s no longer the paramount issue that it is today,” he told MetroNews.
Stuart said his office will work with local, state and federal authorities to put drug traffickers and drug dealers behind bars.
“I have a great sense of urgency on this,” he said.
Being from West Virginia, Stuart said he understands how important it is to tackle this issue immediately.
“No one is more dedicated than as a West Virginian, as somebody who was born and raised here, as a member of this community that understands the challenges that this has brought upon us,” he said.
Protecting the community will be the main goal, Stuart said.
“That’s exactly what we intend to do is to work as closely as we can with local and state officials to make sure our communities are safe and getting safer all the time,” he said.
Stuart previously served as the West Virginia Republican Party chairman from 2010 to 2012.
He is a graduate of West Virginia University and earned his law degree from the Boston University School of Law.
U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) released a statement Wednesday to congratulate Stuart after the Senate voted to confirm him for the job last week.
“I was proud to recommend Michael Stuart to serve as the next U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of West Virginia and to support his nomination throughout the confirmation process. His impressive career and his commitment to honorably and ethically upholding the law make him a strong and qualified choice for this position. I have no doubt that his skill and his character will make him an effective and respected U.S. Attorney,” Capito said.