CHARLESTON - Charleston attorney Joanna Tabit has officially kicked off her public campaign for Kanawha Circuit Court judge.
Tabit, an attorney with Steptoe & Johnson, had a rally Sept. 20, at Power Alley Grill, to raise public awareness for her campaign.
Tabit expressed an interest to return to public service, which is where she started her career in 1986, working as a personal law clerk to then-Judge Thomas E. McHugh.
"I do have a desire to return to public service," Tabit said. "Now I have the experience and energy necessary to be effective."
No current sitting judge has announced they would not seek re-election, and Tabit maintains that she will not run against a sitting judge.
"I'm planning for what I hope is an open seat," she said. "I'm not going to run against a sitting judge in Kanawha County."
However, with the filing deadline in late January, Tabit decided to put together a campaign, because her past experience has shown "you cannot put together a viable campaign in three months," she said.
If a spot of the Kanawha Circuit Court bench does not become available, Tabit has said she will return any money that has not been spent to the contributors.
This is not the first time Tabit has run for circuit court judge. She ran in 2000 for an open seat.
Tabit has been worked at Steptoe & Johnson since 1992. Prior to that, she worked in the West Virginia Attorney General office, in the Appellate Division. She is also a pro bono attorney for the West Virginia State Bar and the Civil Legal Assistance Partnership. She is a board member of the Kanawha County Public Defender Corporation.