This article originally provided by The Daily Mail

April 8, 2008

Supreme Court race shaping up to be expensive

by The Associated Press

West Virginia's 2008 state Supreme Court race is shaping up to be an expensive one.

The $1.8 million amassed by its five candidates dwarfs funds raised in the contests for attorney general and secretary of state.

Former Justice Margaret Workman accounts for $644,250 of the Supreme Court total, after loaning her effort all but $41,050 of that amount. She spent just $3,921 during the filing period that ended March 28.

Huntington lawyer Menis Ketchum loaned his campaign $190,000 while raising $356,729 from contributors. His campaign sported a $229,686 balance after spending $314,712.

Without any loans, incumbent Justice Elliott "Spike'' Maynard has gathered $544,398 for his re-election bid. His campaign spent $143,878, leaving it with $337,914.

Maynard's campaign has been overshadowed by conflict of interest questions since photos surfaced Jan. 14 showing him in Monaco with Don Blankenship, the president, chairman and chief executive officer of Massey Energy Co. Massey had several cases pending before or headed to the court when the two longtime friends met up on the Riviera in July 2006.

Maynard's campaign held eight fundraisers that netted an average of $38,052 each before the photos became public. Since then, the campaign has had five events that averaged $17,332.

Bob Bastress, a West Virginia University law professor, also has no loans. He has raised $73,736 but spent $40,874, leaving his effort with $30,758 on hand.

The four Democrats are seeking their party's nod for the two seats on the court up this year. The sole Republican candidate, Charleston lawyer Beth Walker, has raised $113,414 while loaning her campaign another $4,691. That campaign reported an $81,978 balance after spending $34,816.

Candidate spending topped $2.7 million in the last Supreme Court election, for a sole seat in 2004. But that amount was more than eclipsed by independent advertising campaigns targeting that race. Blankenship has estimated spending $3.5 million to help Republican Brent Benjamin defeat the incumbent Democrat in that contest.

In the Secretary of State's race, House Majority Leader Joe DeLong, D-Hancock, is the money leader with $231,878 amassed and $41,619 spent during the reporting period. Fellow Democrat Natalie Tennant, a former broadcaster, attracted $31,797 while spending $20,910.

The report for a third Democrat, Senate Majority Whip Billy Wayne Bailey, D-Wyoming, was not immediately available. That primary contest winner will face Republican Charles Minimah. The Charleston businessman has raised $1,500 but spent $2,187, leaving his campaign with a negative balance.

Republican Hiram Lewis, meanwhile, reported a thin balance in his bid for state attorney general. The Morgantown lawyer raised $10,645 but spent all but $162 of that amount.

Fellow Republican Dan Greear, a Charleston lawyer, has raised $38,225 while loaning his campaign $15,000. Greear had $34,720 on hand after spending $18,294.

The two vie to challenge Attorney General Darrell McGraw. A Democrat, McGraw has raised $102,799 and spent $14,868. With $85,545 on hand, McGraw is unopposed in his party's primary.


Voter-Owned Elections

Citizens for Clean Elections P.O. Box 6753 Huntington, WV 25773-6753 304-522-0246