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Opioid ties emerge as liability for both parties in West Virginia

Sen. Joe Manchin and West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey
Sen. Joe Manchin and West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey (Photos: Bill Clark / CQ Roll Call, Tom Williams / CQ Roll Call)

Ties to the opioid industry have emerged as a liability in West Virginia's contentious Senate race — for both Democratic incumbent Joe Manchin and state Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, one of the contenders in the GOP primary.

Why it matters: West Virginia has the highest opioid death rate in the U.S., making the opioid crisis deeply personal to many voters. It's also a Senate seat Republicans are hopeful about picking up. But if Morrisey is their candidate, his own opioid ties could weaken the GOP attack against Manchin.