CHARLESTON — Harry "Bo" Bruner Jr. wants to make the Supreme Court a winning court if he is elected.
Bruner said he is the candidate for real change.
"I'm not just a candidate who is going to tell you I’ll be fair, impartial and unbiased," Bruner said in an interview with The West Virginia Record. "I’m going to change the court by doing those 10 things [on my website.]"
Bruner said his heart is in public service.
"I chose Division 1 because, if a coach can’t turn around a team in two years he’s fired," Bruner said. "I chose the short term to implement these 10 pledges and at the end of this two-year term, the voters can do an evaluation. If I can’t turn the team around up there, and that’s what we would be up there—a team, the voters can fire me."
Bruner said these are exciting times in West Virginia.
"This is probably the most important race in West Virginia’s 155-year history," Bruner said. "Our Supreme Court is ranked 50th—the worst in the country. We don’t need any more 50th rankings."
Bruner said what separates him from the other candidates is that leaders lead by example.
"We can make this a winning court," Bruner said.
Bruner has made 10 pledges to West Virginians if he is elected, including using his own office furniture, which cost him a total of $8 at a thrift store.
"I'll decide cases fairly, impartially and quickly by interpreting the law, not writing it," Bruner said. "I'll return $200,000 of my own salary to the taxpayers and I'll have an open door policy."
Bruner said he will eliminate wasteful spending, not use state cars or take expensive trips, will increase scrutiny of the court's budget with more audits, will improve the court's efficiency and transparency, will change the court's culture of acrimony and secrecy and will promote civic literacy and civility.
"If you have no standard, then everybody just does their own thing and that’s what’s wrong now," Bruner said. "When you detach yourself from a standard and just do what’s right in your own eyes then we have the problems we have today. If we don’t do better, then we aren’t going to change anything."
Bruner is an avid runner and has run many races across the state while campaigning, even carrying his portable office furniture with him during his races.
Bruner has practiced law for more than 40 years. He is running in Division 1, which is for former Justice Menis Ketchum's seat. The term expires in 2020.