WINFIELD - In a race that was close until the last vote was counted, attorney Phillip M. Stowers defeated incumbent Putnam County Circuit Court Judge Ed Eagloski early Wednesday.
Stowers, a Democrat, defeated the Republican Eagloski by only 351 votes, as the two candidates battled closely throughout the night, often switching leads as the votes were counted. The unofficial results came with 48 of 48 precincts reporting. The final numbers came in shortly after midnight.
Eagloski has served as a judge since 2001. He had no opponents in the Republican primary in May.
The race became heated in recent weeks, with Stowers running television ads suggesting Eagloski may not be fit to continue ruling as a county judge, using unflattering results of a West Virginia State Bar judicial poll.
In the poll, released in April, Eagloski had the lowest ranking of any Putnam County judicial candidate. His scores included a rating between "poor" and "adequate" in the category of Intelligence/Reasoning Ability. Stowers claims he scored between "good" and "adequate" in the same poll.
Eagloski shot back with television ads urging voters, "Don't believe the lies."
Eagloski filed a complaint with the state Bar, asking for an investigation into Stowers' use of the judicial poll in Stowers' ads
Born in Charleston, Stowers attended Lincoln County public schools and later attended Morehead State University on a four-year Presidential Debate Scholarship. As a Magna Cum Laude graduate at Morehead with a bachelor's degree in Business Administration and Economics, he went on to attend law school at West Virginia University's College of Law.
While at the College of Law, Stowers won the prestigious Baker Cup Award, for appellant advocacy. He was also a member of the West Virginia University Law Review and a member of the West Virginia University College of Law Moot Court Board.
After graduation from law school in 1986, Stowers was employed as an associate for the Huntington law firm of Huddleston & Bolen. In 1989, Stowers moved to Charleston and continued with his private practice of law. Stowers formed Stowers & Associates Attorneys at Law in 1991 and continues to practice with Stowers & Associates primarily engaged in civil litigation.
Circuit Judge O.C. "Hobby" Spaulding ran unopposed for another term. Spaulding, a former Putnam prosecutor, has been a judge for the past 17 years.