CHARLESTON, W.Va. — West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey has won the Republican primary for U.S. Senate.
He’ll take on incumbent Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin, who handily won his own primary race, in the fall general election.
“I think I ran against some pretty tough competitors,” Morrisey said late Tuesday during a MetroNews interview. “These are tough guys.”
When the final statewide precincts reported around midnight, Morrisey had 35 percent of the vote to lead by nearly 8,000 votes on runner-up, Congressman Evan Jenkins.
Jenkins received 29 percent of the vote, while ex-coal boss Don Blankenship — following a controversial campaign that drew national attention — garnered 20 percent.
Morrisey, who has twice won statewide office as attorney general, touted his conservative credentials throughout the race.
Businessman and Green Beret Tom Willis had 10 percent, truck driver Jack Newbrough had 4 percent and coal miner Bo Copley had 3 percent.
The race has taken such a national spotlight that even the president weighed in.
President Donald Trump tweeted at 6:53 a.m. Monday, urging primary voters to steer clear of Blankenship and instead vote for Morrisey or Jenkins.
That presidential intervention highlighted what a contentious, competitive and interesting race is unfolding for U.S. Senate.
Blankenship, who served a year in prison after being convicted on a mine safety conspiracy charge, alluded to polls that showed him ahead in the race. Morrisey publicly acknowledged that polls seemed to be tightening as Election Day drew near.
Morrisey, who had focused his criticism on Jenkins for most of the campaign focused it on Blankenship during the days leading up to Election Day.
In a state where Trump dominated the 2016 presidential vote, Morriesy will take aim at Manchin, who told MetroNews on Tuesday night that he would like to help the president succeed.
“I want to work with him, and he knows that,” Manchin said. “But I have to be an honest broker too if I think things can be better.”