Businessman, former Commerce Secretary Thrasher to enter race for governor

Former Commerce Secretary Woody Thrasher. (Photo Courtesy/WV Governor's Office)

CHARLESTON — Woody Thrasher, a professional engineer who started a successful construction firm nearly 40 years ago and went on to become the state’s commerce secretary, announced his campaign for governor to challenge the very man who appointed him, then forced him out.

Thrasher was traveling to the West Virginia Secretary of State’s Office in Charleston Tuesday afternoon to fill out the pre-candidacy paperwork for his gubernatorial run. He announced his campaign to seek the Republican nomination for governor on statewide radio and in his hometown of Bridgeport Tuesday morning.

According to his publicly available voter registration information, Thrasher changed his party registration from Democrat to Republican 45 days ago on March 4. Gov. Jim Justice, whom Thrasher will be challenging, won his 2016 election as a Democrat, but switched to Republican in August 2017 at the urging of President Donald Trump.