CLARKSBURG, W.Va. (WBOY) — The West Virginia Coal Association Wednesday released its endorsements for the 2024 state and federal elections.

WV Coal represents more than 90% of thermal coal production and 65% of metallurgical coal production in the state. Its President and Chief Executive Officer Chris Hamilton said in a press release the 2024 election is extremely important for the industry.

The 2024 state and federal election cycle is the most important in our industry’s history dating back before West Virginia become a state. Our industry is challenged like never before and our mere existence is threatened. We need political leaders who are willing to go the extra mile for our business and the 50,000 West Virginians who show up at a mine site or coal fired manufacturing facility every day. We will immediately go to work to boost our endorsed candidates’ chances of prevailing in the Spring.

West Virginia Coal Association President and Chief Executive Officer Chris Hamilton

The following endorsements were announced:

Jim Justice for U.S. Senate

The current governor can not run again due to term limits. He announced that he was running for U.S. Senator Joe Manchin’s seat back in April. Sen. Manchin has not yet announced if he intends to run for re-election, but there is speculation that Manchin may run for president as a third-party candidate, especially after he attended an event in New Hampshire hosted by the centrist organization No Labels.

“This race may determine control of the Senate and whether New York Democrat Chuck Schumer continues to set the agenda, name committee chairs, and call the plays,” Hamilton said, in part, in the release. “We believe West Virginia will be better served with a new and insightful leader in the Senate which is why we offer our unconditional support for Jim Justice to succeed Senator Joe Manchin.”

Carol Miller and Riley Moore for U.S. House of Representatives

Miller is the incumbent for West Virginia’s 1st Congressional District, and Riley Moore is currently the West Virginia State Treasurer. Moore is running to represent West Virginia’s 2nd Congressional District, which is currently represented by Rep. Alex Mooney (R). Mooney is also running for Senate.

“Moore has crusaded against national and international financial interests who have adopted lending policies that discriminate against fossil energy extraction,” Hamilton said, in part. “Treasurer Moore will work with and compliment Congresswoman Miller very well.”

Patrick Morrisey for Governor

With Gov. Jim Justice out of the governor’s office, there are many Republicans running to fill his shoes. Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, Secretary of State Mac Warner, Del. Moore Capito, college student and daycare owner Rashida Yost, businessman Chris Miller and President of Saving WV Wildlife Terri Bradshaw are all running for West Virginia governor as well.

“These are extraordinary times and our industry is under attack from the Democratic establishment,” Hamilton said, in part. “Attorney General Patrick Morrisey has mounted legal challenge after legal challenge to hold off or stop President Biden’s Environmental Protection Agency from eradicating coal from America’s energy mix. We are indebted to General Morrisey and believe he is the most qualified in these unprecedented times to lead our state forward.”

Mike Stuart for Attorney General

State Sen. Mike Stuart (R, Kanawha), Current State Auditor JB McCuskey and State Sen. Ryan Weld (R, Brooke) are running to fill Attorney General Patrick Morrisey’s seat. WV Coal said all three are friends of the industry, but it’s ultimately supporting Stuart.

“State Senator Mike Stuart has stepped up in so many ways to defend and support West Virginia’s coal industry,” Hamilton said, in part. “He is the son of a coal miner and the state’s coalfields and served as President Trump’s appointment as U.S. Attorney for West Virginia’s Southern District. Stuart is uniquely qualified to sustain the programs which originated under General Morrisey, and we are pleased to endorse him for Attorney General.”

Haley Bunn and Charles Trump for The Supreme Court of Appeals

“The Supreme Court of Appeals is vitally important to the business climate and stability we now enjoy in West Virginia,” Hamilton said. “The composition of the High Court is as stellar as it’s ever been and the addition of Justice Bunn to the bench has only enhanced it. Justice Bunn is extremely bright, understands the rule of law, and serves as inspiration to our youth. We wholeheartedly endorse her candidacy.”

“We also endorse Charlie Trump for the second open seat on the Supreme Court. Trump, from Morgan County, is held in the highest regard throughout West Virginia’s Legislative and Judicial circles. A legal scholar and absolute statesman, no one is more prepared or deserving to be called ‘Justice’.”