CHARLESTON – Beth Walker's state Supreme Court campaign has begun airing its first television ad, and it focuses on the state's heroin epidemic.
The ad, which began airing April 8, features Walker talking to the camera about her two-pronged plan for dealing with the problem. It is airing in every media market in the state.
"I think it's time we fight back," Walker says in the ad, which can be viewed online. "First, tougher laws that will make anyone selling heroin in West Virginia regret they ever entered our state.
"And second, we need to get help for the addict."
She says the war is one that's winnable with tough judges.
“For the past 26 years, I have traveled across West Virginia trying cases on behalf of clients," Walker said. "The past ten months on the campaign trail have been both a rewarding and an eye opening experience for me. As I meet countless West Virginians, it is clear the drug epidemic – particularly the rise of heroin – is destroying families and hurting our communities.
“It is incumbent on every branch of government to do its part to help meet this challenge head on. And, I want voters to know I am serious about tougher sentences for dealers and getting help for the addicts.”
Walker is associate general counsel for the West Virginia University Medicine, which is the state’s largest healthcare system and second largest private employer. Prior to her current position, she was a partner in the law firm of Bowles Rice, where she concentrated her statewide practice on labor and employment law for more than 20 years.
With the ad, Walker joins incumbent Justice Brent Benjamin and former state lawmaker Bill Wooton as Supreme Court candidates with TV ads. Former state Attorney General and Justice Darrell McGraw and Clay County attorney Wayne King also are running, but they haven't began airing television ads.
Starting this year, all judicial elections in West Virginia are non-partisan. That means the candidates aren’t tied to political parties. It also means the May 10 primary is the only election for judicial seats. The five candidates for Supreme Court are running for one open seat, which currently belongs to Benjamin.