Supreme Court candidates already on campaign trail

By Chris Dickerson | Aug 15, 2008




Republican state Supreme Court candidate Beth Walker recently spoke during a tour of small businesses in Mercer County. (Photo courtesy of Beth Walker for Supreme Court)

CHARLESTON – It's about three months before the November general election, but the three candidates for seats on the state Supreme Court all already are keeping the roads hot.

Democrats Margaret Workman and Menis Ketchum and Republican Beth Walker all said they have been traveling the state, talking to groups anywhere they can.

"It is going well," Walker said of her campaign. "It's really busy. I've spent the summer traveling the state, going to fairs, festivals and parades … talking to people all over the place."

Walker, a Charleston attorney, said she started campaigning the day after the primaries.

"I pretty much was on the road the next day," she said. "I did take few days off in July to spend time with family."

Workman, a Charleston attorney and former justice, said she took a break after the primary. Unlike Walker, who was unopposed in the Republican primary, Workman was one of five Democrats seeking two spots on the fall ballot.

"We took a lull for the summer," she said. "But I have been going out campaigning again. I feel real good about it. Starting in September, I am sure we'll be out on the road all the time."

Ketchum, a Huntington attorney, said he took some time off, too, after the primary.

"I was worn out after the primary, but in the second week of July I caught my second wind," Ketchum said. "We've been on the road since then. I think it will pick up after Labor Day."

All three said they've hit just about every nook and cranny of the state.

"I'm talking to anybody," Walker said. "Anywhere I can get a group to listen to me."

Ketchum said he simply is talking to groups about himself.

"I just talk to them about me," he said. "I don't get involved in any of the other races. When I talk to people, I haven't really talked to them about who they're for or who they should be for.

"When I talk to Republicans, I tell them I want their vote. That's what I'm telling everyone. Last night, we went to a picnic in Harrison County at Nutter Fork. There were 30 or 35 people. That's not a lot, but that's 35 people who I want to get their votes. I just want to get their votes."

Walker said she is hearing that voters want a change.

"The people think we need something different on the court," she said. "I think the campaign is getting stronger every day. I am a marked contrast to the other two candidates. They represent more of a political background. I am concerned about the future of our state."

Workman said she hears a lot about her primary victory from people when she's on the campaign trail.

"I am getting a lot of encouragement," she said. "People who know my record are saying they're glad I'm back. It's the same for people who care about children's issues. It's positive and encouraging."

All three candidates said they expect to do a lot of advertising as their three-person race for two seats moves into the fall.

"We're going to be on TV again," Ketchum said. "We've got different ads. We've already made them. We're going to do a sequel to 'Ketchup,' but we've made three other ads, too."

Workman said advertising is necessary.

"That's always a part you've got to do," she said. "But my message will be the same I had in the primary: Fairness, integrity and hard work."

Walker said she's sure her campaign will use the media to get her message out.

"I think we'll use radio and TV," she said. "But it's also important to keep meeting people. You can put up billboard and do TV ads, but word of mouth is a powerful thing."

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