CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice is betting on President Trump for a little help in his reelection effort.
The Republican governor on Monday announced he's hired a former state campaign director for Trump and two of the president's advisers to work on his 2020 bid.
A news release says Mike Lukach is coming on to serve as Justice's campaign manager after overseeing the president's 2016 race in two states. Trump advisers Bill Stepien and Justin Clark have also signed on to Justice's team.
The announcement comes after a federal subpoena into the governor's resort was made public, state Republican committees approved resolutions of "no confidence" in Justice and a Forbes investigation into the governor's debts called him a "deadbeat billionaire."
Trump carried West Virginia by 42 percentage points in 2016.
Below is the full statement from Governor Jim Justice:
Charleston, WV – Today, Governor Jim Justice announced the hire of Mike Lukach, a key veteran from President Trump’s 2016 campaign who will serve as the Governor’s Campaign Manager for his re-election effort.
In 2016, Lukach managed Minnesota and Colorado for the President, two battleground states that were closely contested until Election Day. After serving in President Trump’s Administration as the White House Liaison in the Department of Veterans Affairs, Lukach managed the successful campaign of Alabama Governor Kay Ivey this past November.
“I’m a businessman, so I know how badly mismanaged our state was when I took it over two years ago,” said Governor Jim Justice. “With a lot of hard work, we’ve brought West Virginia back from the dead and finally have us on the right track – now we need to finish the job.”
The hire of Lukach marks the latest in a growing, experienced campaign team that includes Trump Senior Political Advisors Bill Stepien and Justin Clark.
“Governor Justice’s policies have unleashed the nation’s fastest growing economy, have given the state a conservative Supreme Court for the first time and are fixing the state’s roads and its schools,” said Mike Lukach. “And I know better than anyone that no one has been a better partner for President Trump than Jim Justice.”