CHARLESTON -- With less than two weeks before Election Day, the four candidates for two state Supreme Court seats are still campaigning with everything they have.
Democrat Tish Chafin said she feels good about where her campaign is right now.
“Traveling around the state, I get really positive feedback,” Chafin said. “I feel I’m where I need to be to finish in the top two.”
The Charleston attorney said she gets that positive feedback about her Transparent Court Initiative, her Balanced Court Initiative and her television ads.
“People stop me at Kroger or when I’m getting gas and tell me they love what I’m saying,” she said. “It’s nice to get that response.”
Chafin, a Democrat, said she likely will have one more television ad out before Election Day. In the meantime, she said she’ll continue to work to get her message out.
“I’ll be going to political rallies to encourage people to get out and vote,” she said. “And I’ll be meeting people whenever I can. When you have four people running for two seats, anything can happen. But we’re following the same plan we did in the primary, and we had good results there. We are confident, but we still are out there working hard. You have to run like you’re in last place to finish first, or second in this case.
“We are excited. We can see the finish line. We just have to keep working hard until the end.”
Incumbent Justice Robin Jean Davis said she’s “campaigning like a crazy woman.”
“I’m not taking anything for granted,” Davis said of the waning days of the race. “We just put out our second television ad a few days ago, and they’ve both been well-done and are drawing good feedback.
“One talks about all of the work I’ve done on the Court for families and children. The other talks about my leadership on the Court and how I’ve been Chief Justice five times and had no opinions reversed by the United State Supreme Court.”
Davis, a Democrat, said the last few days of the campaign will see her taking “every chance I get to get my message out and to talk to voters.”
“I hope voters will look at qualifications,” she said. “I stand firmly on my record as a justice. And my record shows that I’m not just a justice, I’m a leader on the court.
“But like I said, I’m not taking anything for granted. I’m out there running my campaign and not worrying about what the others are doing. I’m running my race, and I hope I will get the support I need.”
Republican Allen Loughry plans to do more of the same.
“I feel great about where we are,” the state Supreme Court law clerk said of his campaign. “I’m excited about the campaign, and I’m pleased that we have run a very positive campaign in West Virginia. That’s what I’m continuously told. People say they’ve seen the commercials, and they love it.”
Loughry said reports show that 94 percent of presidential campaign ads this year are negative in nature.
“It turns people off, and it contributes to the apathy we have as voters,” he said. “But I’m getting an incredible response to my ads and to my message to voters.”
His first two television ads featured Loughry and his family, including one ad focusing primarily on his son named Justus and how, if elected, his father’s title would sound the same. This week, Loughry’s campaign introduced a third ad featuring the candidate speaking directly to voters. It can be seen online. He also said more ads will be coming.
“We have great media buy throughout the state,” Loughry said. “We believe it is exactly the right mix to reach the most voters in West Virginia. We’re running a positive, family-oriented campaign. I think West Virginians will respond.”
Loughry also said he plans to continue meeting as many voters as possible before Election Day.
Republican John Yoder has one unique event planned for the last few days of the campaign. On Saturday, he and some supporters will travel by train from Huntington to Hinton.
“It’s a way to combine work for the campaign and having fun,” he said. “My supporters are going to be wearing “I Am A Voter For Yoder” T-shirts. It will be great exposure for the campaign. It’s a way for my supporters to get together, enjoy the day and campaign at the same time.”
Yoder, a circuit judge in the eastern Panhandle, said he also is confident about where his campaign is in the final days.
“I feel pretty good about it,” he said. “I know I am the underfunded underdog in this race. But from what I can tell, the tremendous amount of money the others have spent have not changed their position. From what I can tell, it’s still a very tight race.”
Yoder ran for a seat on the Court in 2010 and was heavily outspent by Justice Thomas McHugh, but still garnered 49.2 percent of the vote.
Yoder said he has a radio ad on the air now, and he plans to continue to meet with as many voters as possible in the coming days.
“I know there is this perception that you have to have a whole lot of money to win,” Yoder said. “Some are trying to promote this concept that I can’t win because I don’t have the money that the others do.
“But, honestly, I don’t even take the position that Justice Davis is a shoo-in. Turnout on Election Day will be a big factor, especially in the eastern Panhandle and the southern part of the state.”