CHARLESTON – Lera VanMeter, one of the candidates for Kanawha County family court judge, wants to make sure children don't get lost in the shuffle if she is nominated to the bench.
VanMeter, who has been practicing family law for 21 years, said the interests of children involved in family law are very important to her and she wants to make sure those interests are protected.
"I want to make sure the children are on the forefront," VanMeter said. "It's important they don't get lost in the shuffle during the course of litigation."
This is the first time VanMeter has ran for public office.
"In the back of my mind I have always wanted to be a judge for the later part of my career," she said. "I have a great uncle that is a judge. It's always been something I have thought about."
VanMeter, who grew up in Williamson, has had her current practice in South Charleston for about 18 years.
"My goal is to give litigants their day in court and make rulings fairly and promptly," VanMeter said. "I would be honored if the citizens of Kanawha County gave me the opportunity to be the next family court judge."
VanMeter is a member of Chics for Charity at Thomas Memorial Hospital and does a lot of community service.
She likes to donate to organizations, including the Humane Society, food drive and Manna Meal.
"I just like to help and I try to help when I can," she said.
VanMeter attended Virginia Tech and graduated in 1991 with a degree in finance and a minor in English. She graduated from West Virginia University College of Law in 1994.
She has been with her significant other for about 10 years, and he is also a lawyer in Charleston.