CHARLESTON – Eight people have applied to fill the vacant Kanawha Circuit Court seat.
The deadline to apply for the temporary position was June 4. Those who submitted applications were Dan Greear, Robert Hogan, Dr. Richard Lindsay, Benjamin Mishoe, Pancho Morris, Gary Pullin, Larry Rowe and Tera Salango.
They seek to take over for Jim Stucky, who retired April 30 because of medical issues after 21 years on the job.
Greear is chief of staff for the House of Delegates as well as former chief counsel for the state Attorney General’s office.
Hogan is deputy attorney general in charge of the appellate division.
Lindsay is a partner at Tabor Lindsay & Associates in Charleston. He also was a practicing physician for years.
Mishoe is an attorney at Shaffer & Shaffer in Charleston.
Morris works in the Administrative Law Judges Division of the state Public Service Commission. He was an assistant Kanawha County prosecuting attorney and was a magistrate court supervisor for the state Supreme Court before being fired from that job in 2008.
Pullin is a partner at Pullin Fowler Flanagan Brown & Poe in Charleston.
Rowe is a member of the House of Delegates and an attorney from Malden.
Salango is a former Kanawha County assistant prosecutor who now practices at Preston & Salango in Charleston.
Greear and Salango also have filed paperwork showing they plan to seek the permanent position, which will be on the November general election ballot.
Members of the Judicial Vacancy Advisory Commission will conduct interviews June 21 for the temporary position. It will make recommendations to Gov. Jim Justice, who is responsible for appointing people to fill circuit judge vacancies in the state, per state law. If the person appointed wants the permanent position, he or she must seek election.
Gov. Cecil Underwood first appointed Stucky as a circuit judge in 1997. He was elected for three terms in 2000, 2008, and 2016. Stucky retired with six years remaining on an eight-year term.
Since Stucky’s retirement, senior status judges Thomas Evans III and David Pancake have presided over his cases.
Justice issued a proclamation May 29 officially calling for the special election. Article 8 Section 7 of the state Constitution empowers the governor to issue a directive for a special election to fill judicial vacancies when there are more than two years left on the office's term.
State Code 3-10-3 say that when a judicial vacancy occurs after the close of the candidate filing period for the primary election and no later than 84 days before the general election, the vacancy shall be filled by a nonpartisan election to run concurrent with the general election. According to state code, the filing period for candidates wishing to seek this seat is Aug. 6 to Aug. 21. Those interested must file certificates of candidacy with the West Virginia Secretary of State’s office.