West Virginia Record

Monday, February 17, 2020

20 people file to run for two Supreme Court seats in November election


By Chris Dickerson | Aug 23, 2018

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CHARLESTON – Twenty people have filed to run for two seats on the state Supreme Court in this November's general election. 

There are 10 candidates who filed for each seat. 

The Division 1 seat has two years left on the term from last month's resignation of Justice Menis Ketchum. The Division 2 seat has six years left on the term from this month's resignation of Justice Robin Jean Davis.

Those who filed for the Division 1 seat are former House Speaker Tim Armstead of Charleston, Charleston attorney Harry C. "Bo" Bruner Jr., Williamson attorney Robert H. Carlton, Huntington attorney Ronald H. Hatfield Jr., Charleston attorney Mark Hunt, Clay County attorney Hiram "Buck" Lewis IV, Barboursville attorney D.C. Offutt Jr., Kanawha Circuit Judge Joanna Tabit of Charleston, Berkeley Circuit Judge Chris Wilkes of Martinsburg and Nitro attorney Jeff C. Woods.

Those who filed for the Division 2 seat are Kanawha Family Court Judge Jim Douglas of Charleston, Lewisburg attorney Robert J. Frank, U.S. Representative Evan Jenkins of Huntington, former state Senate President Jeff Kessler of Glen Dale, Hurricane attorney Brenden D. Long, Wheeling attorney Jim O'Brien, Charleston attorney William Schwartz, Wheeling attorney Marty "Red Shoes" Sheehan, Charleston attorney Dennise Renee Smith and Boone Circuit Judge William S. Thompson of Madison.

Meanwhile, nine people applied to temporarily fill Ketchum's seat. They were Armstead, Carlton, Frank, Jenkins, Offutt, Schwartz, Gregory B. Chiartas of Charleston, Arthur Wayne King of Clay and Martin P. Sheehan of Wheeling.

The JVAC were conducting interviews of the nine applicants Aug. 23 and will make recommendations to Gov. Jim Justice, who will make the final decision. The JVAC also accepted applications to fill Davis's seat until Aug. 22, and those interviews are scheduled for Aug. 24. Its recommendation for that seat also will go to Justice, who will make the final decision. The people Justice appoints to those seats will serve on the Supreme Court until voters select from the above listed candidates to fill out the remainder of the terms, which expire in 2020 (Ketchum) and 2024 (Davis).

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