Categories
News

State Auditor McCuskey Latest to Announce Bid for West Virginia Governor

by Steven Allen Adams PARKERSBURG NEWS & SENTINEL

Feb 28, 2023

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — J.B. McCuskey, two-term state auditor, believes he is the best choice for the Republican nomination for governor in 2024.

McCuskey announced his intention to run for governor Tuesday afternoon at the Quantum Sports Center in Charleston, where his children play soccer.

“I’m here to tell you — a brighter future starts today,” McCuskey said. “I am here today to announce my candidacy for governor of West Virginia.”

McCuskey first announced at the end of November that he was giving a run for governor serious thought, with a decision forthcoming.

Speaking Tuesday, McCuskey emphasized his ability to put words into action, his kinship with the state and his goal of moving the state forward into the future.

“Today, I am beginning my journey to become your next governor because matching our potential with our values, matching our beauty with our opportunity and matching our shared vision with our shared prosperity is the passion of my life,” McCuskey said.

Coming from a family with legal and political experience, McCuskey is West Virginia’s 21st auditor and the state’s first elected Republican auditor since 1928. McCuskey first took office on Jan. 16, 2017, succeeding Democratic Auditor Glen Gainer after Gainer declined to run for re-election.

McCuskey, the son of retired state Supreme Court Justice John F. McCuskey, is a former two-term member of the House of Delegates representing the 35th District in Kanawha County. He lives in Charleston with his wife, Wendy, and daughters, Charlotte and Martha.

“He has tons of good ideas, a passion for hard work and a deep love of his home state of West Virginia,” Wendy McCuskey said Tuesday.

“After more than 17 years of marriage, J.B. still continues to amaze me. …During all these years, I’ve seen firsthand the man that J.B. is. He is loyal, hardworking, dedicated and a total problem-solver,” she said.

J.B. McCuskey received more votes than any other statewide candidate in 2016 for his first run for State Auditor, according to the Secretary of State’s Office, and received more votes than any other Board of Public Works candidate in 2020 except for Gov. Jim Justice.

Over the last six years, McCuskey has worked to modernize the auditing process for city and county governments, make state and local government expenses more transparent and bring about prosecutions of government officials for misuse of tax dollars. During that time, McCuskey has returned nearly $100 million to the state’s general revenue fund through savings.

“As your State Auditor, we opened the books, opened our records, and made West Virginia the most transparent and accountable government in the country,” McCuskey said. “As your governor, we will go further, using these ideals to create a government unlike anything we have ever seen.”

The event attracted approximately 150 friends and supporters, including famed father and son attorneys Jay and Jordan Sekulow, a classmate of McCuskey’s at George Washington University in the nation’s capital.

“We’ve watched his journey, whether it be the Auditor’s Office or as delegate and now to make this major announcement today,” Jordan said. “We’ve been in prayer for his family; for J.B. and Wendy and for the children. We know what this endeavor is like. There are only a few people in the country — the whole United States — who would put themselves forward for these kinds of positions.”

With his announcement, McCuskey joins a growing field of Republican candidates for governor. Secretary of State Mac Warner announced his candidacy for governor in January at the West Virginia Veterans Memorial on the grounds of the State Capitol Complex in front of a large crowd and joined by his wife, Monongalia Republican Del. Debbie Warner.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Moore Capito, R-Kanawha, announced a run for governor in December. Capito is the son of U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., and the grandson of the late Republican three-term Governor Arch Moore. Automobile dealership owner Chris Miller — the son of 2nd District Congresswoman Carol Miller, R-W.Va. — announced a run for governor in 2021.

According to the Secretary of State’s Campaign Finance Reporting System, there are a total of six Republican precandidates for governor. Alexander Gaaserud has since announced a campaign for the 2nd congressional district Republican primary. Other precandidates include Terri Bradshaw of Gandeeville and Rashida Yost of Martinsburg.

Gov. Jim Justice is finishing up his second term as Governor and is limited to two terms. The Republican who won his first term as registered Democrat in 2016 is considering a run for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate, facing U.S. Rep. Alex Mooney, R-W.Va. and Christopher Rose of Maidsville. The winner would face U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., if he chooses to run for another term. According to Morning Consult, Justice ranks as the fifth most popular governor in the nation.