CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- West Virginia Attorney General-elect Patrick Morrisey has spent the past 20 years representing pharmaceutical and health-care corporations as a lawyer and lobbyist in Washington, D.C.
The bulk of Morrisey's campaign contributions this year came from individuals and political action groups affiliated with those industries.
However, Morrisey said Thursday he doesn't have any marching orders from Big Pharma or any other corporate lobby.
"I am an independent voice," Morrisey said after a news conference outside the state Capitol. "I am not beholden to any interest other than the citizens of West Virginia."
In Tuesday's election, Morrisey became West Virginia's first Republican attorney general in 80 years, defeating longtime incumbent Darrell McGraw. McGraw's office frequently battled the same big corporations that supported Morrissey during the testy race.
On Thursday, Morrisey said, "This is going to be a much different Attorney General's Office."
Morrisey said the office would be more aggressive in fighting state and federal regulations that hurt West Virginia jobs. He said he would make it a priority to improve West Virginia's business climate.
"I want to look at those regulations and see what's working, and what's not," Morrisey said. "We will create a better business environment. The Attorney General's Office can play an important role in making that happen."
After taking office on Jan. 14, Morrisey said he will hold a "jobs summit" to identify regulations that limit business growth in West Virginia. The next step would be to challenge those regulations in court, Morrisey said.
"We will not be shy about saying what we think of those regulations," he said. "The Attorney General's Office will be the point."
As part of his "17-point plan" for his first 100 days in office, Morrisey said he also plans to "take on" the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. He said he will file lawsuits against federal regulations that limit coal production.
"Coal still has to be a very top priority," he said.