To get Justice endorsement, Moore Capito brings Democrats Joe Manchin and Larry Puccio into race for Governor.

Press Release from Warner Campaign

Charleston, W.Va. – On Thursday, Governor Jim Justice endorsed Moore Capito for the Republican Party nomination for Governor. The move brought immediate concern to WV Republicans as they wonder what Moore Capito promised to get the Justice endorsement?

Recall that in 2016 it was Democrat Joe Manchin and former WV Democrat Party Chair Larry Puccio who convinced Democrat Jim Justice to run for governor and helped Justice win that position. Manchin and Puccio had destroyed the Democrat Party in WV and they needed a new approach to keeping a stranglehold on power in West Virginia. Everyone realized being Republican was the ticket to elected office in the state, so within a year they convinced Jim Justice to switch to Republican.

Under Manchin and Puccio’s failed leadership, the WV Democrat Party lost their 83-year control of both the WV State Senate and WV House of Delegates. In return for getting him elected governor, Justice threw Manchin and Puccio a lifeline by hiring Puccio as a very high paid lobbyist for Justice’s struggling business empire. As the Governor’s consultant, Puccio kept his hand on power and influence in WV state government.

Then, in 2020, Puccio ran Justice’s second campaign for Governor and is now running Justice’s campaign for the U.S. Senate. In 2022, Justice, Manchin, and Puccio teamed up against Alex Mooney in West Virginia’s 2nd Congressional District race. However, their endorsement in that race fell flat — the people of WV voted overwhelmingly for Congressman Alex Mooney and reelected Mooney to Congress. That set the stage for the 2024 race for US Senate: Mooney is running against Justice for the seat Joe Manchin is vacating.

So, let’s examine the cabal (a secret political clique) that has kept a stranglehold on WV politics for decades. The Moores and Manchins have had an agreement to not run against each other since the days of Arch Moore. That is why our current US Senators from opposing political parties have been so chummy over their tours in office. And, the two families have become filthy rich by exploiting West Virginia, and that is why they act as though they own the state. Like monarchs in Europe, their offspring behave as though holding high political office, regardless of experience or merit, is their inheritance.

Larry Puccio serves as the puppet master behind the scenes to control the strings of power, regardless of the actual office-holder. Perhaps the best analogy is that of the Trojan Horse—the former Democrat Party Chair Larry Puccio, through the new generation of Moore/Capitos, pushes inside the Governor’s mansion where he can continue his exploitation of West Virginia.

It is actually an amazing, bold move, right out of Sun Tzu and Machiavelli. Sun Tzu says to “win without fighting.” Democrats know they will not win a political fight in WV for a long time to come. Machiavelli says a ruler must be willing to act unscrupulously at the right time. Puccio is certainly willing to act unscrupulously (See articles below). Imagine, in ten short years, Puccio moved from Democrat Party Chair and Democrat Governor/US Senator Manchin’s right hand man, to advising Justice to run as a Democrat for governor, have Justice switch to Republican, and now he is advising ”Republican” Moore Capito in his race for governor. Principled he is not.

Puccio has helped raise hundreds of thousands of dollars to fund Capito’s campaign. Puccio has orchestrated the Justice endorsement of Moore Capito to succeed Justice as governor — returning the favor to U.S. Senator Shelley Capito who endorsed Justice months ago.

Longtime WV Republicans are concerned about the Capito connection to Puccio and Manchin. The Capito family has been negotiating with Puccio for months to get Justice to publicly endorse Moore Capito for Governor. What did Capito have to trade to get the endorsement?

Back in January, Puccio and the Capitos worked together tirelessly to keep the State Republican Executive Committee from closing the Primary Election to unaffiliated voters. For the last several years, the WV Republican Party has allowed unaffiliated voters to participate in the Republican Primary Election. But the last several years has seen a big increase in Democrats switching to “unaffiliated” in order to control the outcome of the Republican Party Primary Election.

Under pressure from the Capito-wing of the Party, the State Republican Executive Committee decided not to close the Republican Primary Election until 2026. Not closing the Republican Primary Election this year allows all of the unaffiliated voters that Puccio and Manchin have recruited away from the Democrat Party to vote for Puccio-backed candidates – Moore Capito and Jim Justice.

One would have to ask – “What’s in it for Puccio and Manchin? Why are they working so hard for Moore Capito and Jim Justice?”

The answer is really quite simple. The Democratic Party in West Virginia is no longer a viable political option for West Virginia voters. Over the last 30 years, Manchin and Puccio have destroyed the Democrat Party while at the same time becoming multi-millionaires themselves. And let’s not forget, Senator Manchin and Senator Shelley Capito have been political allies for decades despite their opposing party affiliations.

Manchin and Puccio have no where else to go. They want to maintain their control of West Virginia politics, and Moore Capito is their tool to do so. Puccio has made millions as a lobbyist and wants his access to the government gravy train to continue. If Moore Capito were to be elected, former Democrat Chair Larry Puccio would have unrestricted access to the Governor’s Office. Puccio would continue to make policy for the Moore Capito Administration — unbelievable in any normal, rational universe!

You don’t have to take my word for who Larry Puccio is. He and Joe Manchin have been soulmates for more than 50 years. Read the articles below by West Virginia media outlets:

Puccio now helping Moore Capito
Republicans competing for West Virginia governorship report donations

Larry Puccio: Manchin’s Shadow

Puccio cashes in on friendship with Senator Manchin

Justice hires Puccio to Lobby for his Companies; Puccio is special guest at Justice inauguration in 2016

Puccio lobbying makes him more than $600,000 in 2023

Joe Manchin’s right hand man turns to lucrative lobbying

Puccio is crosses streams to help Manchin and Justice

FBI leads investigation into Puccio and Justice

Puccio donates to Justice; Becomes advisor to Governor and Lobbyist for Greenbrier Hotel

2016: Justice taps Puccio to lead Transition Team

Manchin selects Puccio to head “Country Roads PAC”

Puccio is advisor to both of Justices gubernatorial campaigns (2016 and 2020)

Puccio and Justice demanded control of the Democrat Party – Democrats say NO!

Scott Sears talks about Puccio’s influence with Manchin

Who is Larry Puccio?
Larry Puccio

Joe Manchin—Shelly Moore Capito—Larry Puccio—Jim Justice—Moore Capito. What a tangled web they weave. The West Virginia Republican Party should see this for what it is and stop it in its tracks. We will have the chance to do so on May 14. Vote Mac Warner for a fresh, clean, professional and competent start in the leadership of West Virginia!

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