CHARLESTON - State Supreme Court candidate Menis Ketchum says a recent poll that shows him in a close fight with Republican challenger Beth Walker is misleading.
Ketchum said a poll conducted more like November's election indicates a 13-percent lead over Walker, as opposed to the 2-percent lead another poll showed.
That poll, constructed by Mark Blankenship Enterprises, asked registered voters to pick only one of the three Supreme Court candidates. In November's election, voters will be asked to choose two, as they were in the more recent poll.
"I feel good about this campaign," said Ketchum, a Huntington lawyer. "And I'm working as hard as I can to let people know what's at stake. We have a chance to restore fairness, balance and integrity to our Supreme Court."
Both polls show former Supreme Court Justice Margaret Workman with a lead over her two competitors. The recent one was conducted by Anzalone Liszt Research.
Fifty-seven percent of the 600 registered voters selected Workman as one of their two choices, and Ketchum received 48 percent. Thirty-five percent voted for Walker.
After a short positive profile of all three, Workman's support jumped five percent, Ketchum's increased seven and Walker's went up six.
In the Blankenship poll, Ketchum received 23 percent of votes, with Walker getting 21. Twenty-eight percent said they were undecided, and 42 percent chose Workman.
Should Walker and Workman both prevail, there will be more females than males on the Court. Justice Robin Davis was elected in 1996 and re-elected in 2000.
Current Chief Justice Spike Maynard fell in the Democratic primary, and Justice Larry Starcher decided not to seek re-election.
Justice Brent Benjamin is the only Republican currently on the Court.