CHARLESTON -- He still wants to be an independent voice on the state Supreme Court, but candidate Allen Loughry will be running as a Republican.
"When I began this race several months ago, it was my intention to run for the Supreme Court as an independent despite my socially and fiscally conservative values," said Loughry, who currently is a law clerk at the Supreme Court. "Judges should be chosen without consideration for political party, however, at the present time, West Virginia is one of just a few states that still elect judges in partisan elections.
"Until that law is changed, voters still expect judicial candidates to firmly state their political party affiliation."
Loughry – who also is known as the author of "Don't Buy Another Vote, I Won't Pay for a Landslide," which detailed political corruption in the state – said the state Republican Party platform supports establishing the non-partisan election of West Virginia Supreme Court judges.
"As a result, running as a Republican for the Supreme Court was an easy decision," he said. "Regardless of my party affiliation, justice must be blind of politics and I intend to strictly follow the Constitution and to represent the people of West Virginia and the judiciary with honor, integrity, and high ethical standards."
The chairman of the state Republican Party said he's pleased Loughry is joining the ticket.
"Mr. Loughry will be a tremendous candidate and asset to our party and, if elected, a tremendous justice for West Virginia without consideration for political party in his decisions on the bench," Mike Stuart said. "I am pleased that Mr. Loughry has chosen to join us for the upcoming historic election."
A lawyer with four law degrees from American University, University of London and Capital University, Loughry also studied law at Oxford University, Loughry has worked as a lawyer for the West Virginia Supreme Court for the past eight years. Prior to working at the Supreme Court, Loughry was a Senior Assistant Attorney General arguing more than 20 cases before the state's high court.
Loughry has said he has been fascinated with politics and government since he was 6. But as he grew older, he said he became frustrated with politics.
"That's why I wrote my book," he said. "I want things to change for the positive in West Virginia. I want to be a part of the solution for West Virginia. And that's why I'm running for the Supreme Court."
Loughry has served as a law clerk at the state Supreme Court for the past eight years. He also has experience in local, state and federal governments. He has served as Special Prosecuting Attorney, Assistant County Prosecutor, Direct Aide to Governor Gaston Caperton, Senior Assistant Attorney General, Special Assistant to a Congressman, and has worked with more than 20 Supreme Court justices at both the Ohio and West Virginia supreme courts. He also is an adjunct professor at the University of Charleston.
"I've learned at UC that a lot of the students want to get involved," he said. "This election is for every kid in the rural parts of West Virginia to know they still can participate in the political process."
A lifelong West Virginia resident and native of Tucker County, Loughry and his wife, Kelly, live in Charleston with their son Justus.
Loughry joins Republican Circuit Judge John Yoder on the GOP ticket. Justice Robin Jean Davis and Tish Chafin -- both Democrats – also are running for the two open seats.
"With my educational and professional background, I think this is a logical step in my career," Loughry said of his candidacy. "People should want to know the people who run for this office are qualified.
"I think I would bring a new perspective to the court. Each of my degrees, my professional experience and my life experiences have prepared me for this. I've worked hard, and I'll make people proud of the Court.
"My campaign is going to be well-funded, but it's also going to be one of the biggest grassroots campaigns you've ever seen. I'll be burning up my phone, talking to a lot of people. We're going to meticulously move from now until November 2012."
For more information about his campaign, go to www.AllenLoughry.com.