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West Virginia AG: Senator's Replacement Should be Republican

Martin Valent
WV Legislative Photography

An opinion by Attorney General Patrick Morrisey says the vacancy left by a senator who was elected as a Democrat but flipped Republican should be filled by another Republican.

The Republican attorney general filed the opinion Tuesday regarding ex-Sen. Daniel Hall at the request of Republican Senate President Bill Cole.

Hall submitted his resignation dated Sunday to take a job with the National Rifle Association.

Two state law provisions create confusion about which party should suggest replacements to Democratic Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin. Hall was elected a Democrat in 2012 but switched parties after the 2014 elections and resigned Republican.

His party switch broke a Senate tie and gave Republicans their first majority in decades.

Morrisey's opinion calls the law unambiguous.

The state Supreme Court likely will decide the issue.

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