With all votes in, Petsonk declaring victory in AG primary

Staff Writer
Mineral Daily News-Tribune
Sam Petsonk

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Labor lawyer Sam Petsonk has declared victory in the Democratic primary for West Virginia attorney general by a 145-vote margin after all counties finished reporting results late Thursday night.

The secretary of state's office tally has Petsonk ahead of Del. Isaac Sponaugle after the pair were locked in a race too close to call during last week's primary. State election officials have until July 9 to officially certify the results of the election. The Associated Press has not called the race.

Sponaugle, who represents Pendleton County in the West Virginia House of Delegates, has not conceded the race. He said he will announce a decision about a potential recount Tuesday.

"I'm going to take the weekend, look over it and will decide what I'm going to do," he said in a statement. "I'll announce it Tuesday, after looking over all of the results, if I plan to proceed with a recount or concede the election."

In November, the winner will go up against Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, who ran unopposed in the Republican primary.

Petonsk's legal work has focused on workplace safety, retirement benefits for coal miners and other labor issues. He formerly worked for the late U.S. Sen. Robert C. Byrd as a legislative assistant.

"My career has been about delivering solutions to strengthen our communities and to ensure we receive the wages and benefits that we've earned here in West Virginia. Standing up for your family and mine. For our towns. For our neighbors," he said in a statement.