MOUNDSVILLE – The West Virginia State Lodge of the Fraternal Order of Police has endorsed Supreme Court Justice Brent Benjamin for re-election to the Supreme Court.

Benjamin adds the FOP to his earlier endorsement from the West Virginia Sheriffs' Association for the May 10 election.

The FOP recognized that in his 12 years on the court Justice Benjamin has fastidiously honored the rule of law. The FOP also cited Benjamin’s diligent work with drug courts, a program which has been especially effective in lowering the recidivism rate and helping to keep communities safe.

“Of all of the support I’ve received in this campaign, I am extremely honored by the endorsements of the organizations which represent our first-responders,” Benjamin said in a statement. “Their recognition of my service to West Virginia is sincerely and humbly appreciated.”

The Fraternal Order of Police is the nation's largest police organization. Founded in 1915, the FOP represents professional, full time officers from all agencies of law enforcement and had its first lodge installed in West Virginia in 1926.

Benjamin has campaigned on a platform that the Supreme Court has earned a reputation for predictability and stability during his term on the bench. He has helped the establishment of drug courts to help offenders lead clean, responsible lives. Statistics provided by the West Virginia judiciary show the rate of repeat offenders is 70 percent lower for graduates of drug courts.

Benjamin is being challenged for his seat on the Supreme Court by former state lawmaker Bill Wooton, former state Attorney General and Justice Darrell McGraw, Morgantown attorney Beth Walker and Clay County attorney Wayne King.

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.

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