Editor's Note: In the coming weeks, The West Virginia Record will profile candidates in this year's election for the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals and for state Attorney General.
CHARLESTON -- Regardless of how many people are running for the two state Supreme Court seats up for grabs this year, Justice Robin Jean Davis is focused on keeping hers.
"Let me be clear -- I'm running my race," she said. "And I will win my race. Whatever happens with the others, it is what is.
"I can't think about the other people in the race. I have to think about my race."
Davis, who was first elected to the Court in 1996 to an unexpired term and re-elected to her current 12-year term in 2000, said she plans to run on her record of service.
"I think you can ask anybody," she said. "My record speaks for itself. I have respect from all sides ... business, labor. Everybody knows I call them right down the line as I see them. I have a ton of experience, and I have the experience of leading this court as Chief Justice five times."
She also said she is proud of her innovative ideas that she has helped manage during her time on the Court.
"I'm especially pleased with how the Revised Rules for Appellate Procedure have gone," she said. "Because of the new rules, there is no need for an intermediate appellate court, and that has saved the state millions and millions of dollars.
"But I'm also proud of the other programs we've started while I've been here."
Those include initiatives she started in her previous terms as Chief Justice, especially ones involving children and families that have allowed the Judicial Branch to remain current with the constant changes in technology. These include the Workers' Compensation Mediation Program; the expansion of parent education programs; Rules on Mass Litigation; the expansion of courtroom technology, including the video initial appearance pilot project; the creation of the West Virginia Trial Court Rules; the establishment of an online Child Abuse and Neglect database; and additions to legal rules governing child abuse and neglect proceedings.
Davis also is pleased with how the Court is working right now.
"Our Court is in a wonderful place right now," she said. "We're extremely stable, we work well together. I don't want to go back to the days where there was a lot of division.
"The court is transparent. The Court as a whole has garnered respect from the whole state for being stable, respectable to each other and to the law of our state. I think it's important that the stability stays here."
Davis, 55, was born in Boone County. She is married to Charleston attorney Scott Segal, and they have one son, Oliver. She graduated from West Virginia Wesleyan College in 1978, and she earned her master's and law degree from West Virginia University in 1982.
She was in private practice from 1982 to 1996 when she joined the state Supreme Court. She now is the most senior member of the Court.
Davis is running in the Democratic primary against Charleston attorney Tish Chafin, circuit judges J.D. Beane and Jim Rowe, current state Supreme Court law clerk Louis Palmer and New Martinsville attorney H. John "Buck" Rogers.
Circuit Judge John Yoder and current state Supreme Court law clerk Allen Loughry are the Republicans running.
The primary election is May 8, and the general election is Nov. 6.