Millions pour into governor’s race, donors include Harlan Crow & Robert Mercer

It’s still 16 months until the 2024 election, but the donations are already rolling in for politicians seeking statewide office. RealWV is following the money via public reports from candidates.

In the latest quarterly reports released Friday evening, current Attorney General Patrick Morrisey reported donations over $1.3 million towards his gubernatorial run – primarily from out-of-state donors such as billionaires Harlan Crow and Robert Mercer.

Meanwhile, Moore Capito (current Kanawha County Delegate, and son of US Senator Shelley Moore Capito) – also running for governor – reported similar overall amounts from a different group of donors. Most of Capito’s donations came from in-state political players, including those with ties to the energy industry, lawyers, and lobbyists.

Patrick Morrisey

After serving as Attorney General since 2012 – and following a successful legal and lobbying career in Maryland and Washington, DC – Patrick Morrisey is now seeking to move his office down the hall and become the next Governor of W.Va. Morrisey has a well-oiled fundraising machine, and he’s also receiving support from national political networks. Morrisey has raised over $1.3 million so far, with all of that coming in the last three months.

Who is contributing to his campaign?

More than 80% of Morrisey’s donations are from a network of out-of-state political activists, including Harlan Crow and Robert Mercer. He also has a huge database of small donors.

  • Robert Mercer (hedge fund billionaire)
  • Harlan Crow (TX real estate developer, recently tied to gifts given to Clarence Thomas)
  • 361 pages of individual donors appear on Morrisey’s report, far eclipsing small donations from all other candidates. Many give $1 at a time.
  • James Laurita (coal executive who faced campaign fraud charges)
  • Jim Martin (President of CityNet)
  • Fausto Diaz (Miami businessman convicted of fraud and tax evasion in 1999)
  • Astellas Pharmaceutical PAC
  • Gun Owners of America’s Political Victory Fund
  • Elbert Lin (former Solicitor General for WV)
  • Tom Heywood (lawyer and former Chief of Staff for Governor Caperton)
  • Conrad Lucas (lobbyist and former chair of the WVGOP)
  • Marlene Moss (lobbyist and anti-vaccine activist)
  • John Bryan (attorney who has sued Governor Justice several times, known as The Civil Rights Lawyer)

Morrisey has spent $294,000 and has over $1 million cash on hand.

Moore Capito

Moore Capito is a Republican delegate from Kanawha County. His mother is US Senator Shelley Moore-Capito. His grandfather was Governor Arch Moore (who later served over five years in prison on political corruption charges). After serving six years in the WV House, Capito is now seeking the governorship.

Capito has raised $1.1 million so far. Over the last three months, he raised $288,329.

Who is contributing to Capito’s campaign? All the big players in WV politics:

  • Larry Puccio (lobbyist and former Chief of Staff to Governor Manchin)
  • Paul Hardesty (current WV School Board President)
  • Elmer Coppoolse (Chief Operating Officer at The Greenbrier)
  • Tom Heywood (lawyer and former Chief of Staff for Governor Caperton)
  • Conrad Lucas (lobbyist and former chair of the WVGOP)
  • John Raese (businessman and owner of WV Metronews)
  • US Senator Rob Portman’s campaign committee
  • Albert Wright (CEO of WVU Health)
  • Scott Rotruck (WV Board of Education member)
  • Brian Abraham (Chief of Staff to Governor Jim Justice)
  • Ben Beakes (lobbyist)
  • Danielle Waltz (lobbyist)
  • A litany of companies including Appalachian Electric Power, Diversified Gas & Oil, and CSX

Capito has spent $123,000 and has over $1 million cash on hand.

JB McCuskey

JB McCuskey is a former delegate who has served as Auditor since 2016. He has raised $648,000 with $120,000 coming in this quarter.

Who’s donating to his campaign? A long list of WV political players.

  • Woody Thrasher (former Commerce Secretary)
  • Jay Sekulow (radio personality)
  • Delegate Doug Skaff (D-Kanawha)
  • Gil White (attorney)

McCuskey has spent $236,000 and has over $400,000 cash on hand.

Mac Warner

After serving two terms as Secretary of State, Warner is now seeking higher office in his quest to become governor. He has raised over $324,000 with $92,000 coming in over the last three months.

Who’s contributing to Warner? A sizable base of small donors and in-state political donors, mostly from the Morgantown area.

He has spent $125,000 and has $194,000 cash on hand.

Chris Miller

Auto dealer and son of Congresswoman Carol Miller, Chris Miller has yet to file his latest report. He loaned his own campaign $2.9 million when he began the race and has received large donations from other auto dealers, such as Bill Cole, and other Cole family members.

Other candidates

Chakse Linko-Looper (Mountain Party) has received just under $1,000.

Marshall Wilson (ACT Party) has received just over $4,000.

Rashida Yost (R) has received just over $11,000.

Terri Bradshaw (R), Quintin Caldwell (I), Erika Kolenich (Libertarian), and Edwin Vanover (R) have received no donations.

Stay tuned to RealWV for our continuing series following the money in other state political campaigns.

Attorney General Patrick Morrisey is running for governor. He raised over $1.3 million this quarter, mostly from out of state donors like Harlan Crow and Robert Mercer. Photo by Perry Bennett.
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