A conservative, anti-regulation group is spending $1.6 million to try to defeat Democrat Attorney General Darrell McGraw, according to West Virginia Secretary of State records.
The D.C.-based Center for Individual Freedom's ad purchase is considered enormous for West Virginia and is certain to help Republican challenger Patrick Morrisey, who has long promised a vigorous effort to defeat the longtime incumbent.
McGraw has only narrowly won his last several races and has consistently drawn the ire of industry groups for his office's consumer protection litigation.
The group got its start as a front for the tobacco lobby and now funds conservative candidates and causes.
It does not report its donors, though former President George Bush political operative Karl Rove's political action committee has given money to the center, according to spending information made public by Rove's Crossroads GPS.
There's also an out-of-state effort aiding McGraw.
It's apparently backed by the Democratic Attorneys General Association, according to a federal tax filing that show money from the association going to the anti-Morrisey Committee for American Fairness. The association is known as DAGA.
It functions much like the Democratic Governors Association, which goes across the country dropping money into races to aid Democrats. DAGA's national foe is the Republican Attorneys General Association, or RAGA.
The Morrisey campaign said the DAGA-backed Committee for American Fairness spent $231,000 on anti-Morrisey ads this summer.
An affiliated group - the Mountaineer Committee for Justice & Fairness - just reported another $346,000 in anti-Morrisey spending to the Secretary of State's Office.
It's unclear if that anti-Morrisey effort can compete against the Center for Individual Freedom's spending.
There are also in-state usual suspects trying to help swing the race.
The West Virginia Building & Construction Trades is spending $20,000 to help union-friendly McGraw, according to state electioneering filings. The business-friendly West Virginia Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse is spending $37,000 against him.