11 December 2009

The Return of the House of Warner

By mid-2004, the Warners had become one of the leading political families in West Virginia. Kris Warner was chair of the state GOP. One brother, Monty, was the party's nominee for governor. Another brother, Kasey, was the U.S. Attorney for the state's southern federal court district.

The family's political roots extend back at least to its patriarch, former legislator George "Brud" Warner. But following the May 2004 primary, the family appeared at a pinnacle of political prominence.

The subsequent downfall was quick and thorough.

Monty Warner was beaten badly by Gov. Joe Manchin that November, carrying only three counties and garnering around one-third of the vote.

The campaign spawned a tell-all book that helped illustrate a situation within the state GOP that led to Kris Warner's forced resignation as chairman the following year. Bad feelings about his tenure persist within the party.

The final blow came with Monty Warner's apparent firing by the U.S. Justice Department in August 2005.

Four years later, the family name has resurfaced in West Virginia politics with brother Andrew M. "Mac" Warner gearing up for a 2010 challenge of U.S. Rep. Alan Mollohan, D-1st.

The Mac Warner for Congress committee is holding a Monday fundraiser in Charleston. The Intelligencer of Wheeling offered a partial profile of Warner earlier this month. He also told the Charleston Daily Mail last month that he planned to "spend Thanksgiving finalizing a decision about whether to run."

But Mac Warner is not without his challenges. He was sued last year along with three of his brothers and their real estate development company, McCoy 6 LLC, by a creditor. That and the recession helped prompt McCoy 6 to file for bankruptcy in February.

The Warners' ambitious plans for their Morgantown properties was the subject of a 2008 Public Broadcasting piece (with audio), as was a vow by McCoy 6 to sue the city over its repeated condemnation of a key parcel within those holdings.

McCoy 6 followed through on its threat but has also since surrendered the property at issue, Mountaineer Court, to creditor Fifth Third Bank. It proposed a reorganization plan last month under Chapter 11 that would involve the sale of at least three other key holdings.


Jay said...

Leave us not forget Kris Warner's "development" that brought the telemarketer Community Affairs Inc. to Phillipi, which skedaddled out of town ahead of an FTC lawsuit for fraud. (circa 2004)

Scott said...

Is the "McCoy 6" worse than "The Mollohan Family Enrichment Foundation?"