CHARLESTON – Speaker Tim Armstead has resigned from his House of Delegates seat to run for the state Supreme Court.
Armstead (R-Kanawha) announced his resignation Aug. 21 on MetroNews’ “Talkline” program. It was the final day for those interested to file to run for the two open Supreme Court seats.
"Although the Secretary of State's Office has said that it is not required that I resign from the House in order to run for the court, I want to ensure that my candidacy fully complies with all state laws and standards of conduct and is above question,' Armstead wrote on Twitter.
Armstead will run for former Justice Menis Ketchum’s seat. That term expires in 2020. Ketchum and Justice Robin Jean Davis both have resigned from the court in the last two months.
"I want to thank my good friend and longtime colleague Tim Armstead for his service to the people of West Virginia, and specifically to the residents of his district along the Elk River he loves so much," Senate President Mitch Carmichael (R-Jackson) said. "It has been a pleasure to work with Tim to revitalize the West Virginia economy and move our state forward.
"I wish him all the best as he pursues new endeavors in his life. Tim is a loyal, honest public servant whose ethics are above reproach, and the Senate will miss his steady presence in the House.”
Armstead was first appointed to the House in 1998. He was elected to the seat later that year and has served since. He became House Speaker in 2014.
Armstead also is one of nine people who have applied to temporarily fill Ketchum's seat. The Judicial Vacancy Advisory Council will conduct interview of the nine applicants Aug. 23 and will make recommendations to Gov. Jim Justice, who will make the final decision. The person Justice appoints will serve on the Supreme Court until voters select a candidate to fill out the remainder of Ketchum's term, which expires in 2020.
Aug. 23 also is the date of Ketchum's plea hearing in federal court. Last month, Ketchum agreed to plead guilty to a federal information to one count of wire fraud. He had resigned and retired from the court last month, weeks before the information related to misuse of a state vehicle was released.