Among the many important races on the ballot this election, West Virginia voters will have the opportunity to elect two new justices to fill vacancies on the WV Supreme Court of Appeals. It’s a crowed field, with 10 candidates running for each of the two seats, which will be listed on the ballot as Division 1 and Division 2.
In an op-ed published in the Beckley Register-Herald earlier this week, Boone County Circuit Court Judge Will Thompson said, “Voters in West Virginia have the opportunity to restore trust and credibility to the Supreme Court. Not only is this election critical to the future of the West Virginia Supreme Court, but it is also one of the most confusing elections in recent memory. It is critical that the voters understand this election.”
We couldn’t agree more, and for that reason we’ve compiled some resources and reporting on the Supreme Court races to help voters learn more about the candidates running to complete two unexpired terms on the Court.
In the Division 1 race, voters will decide who will replace Justice Menis Ketchum who retired in July, and plead guilty shortly after to wire fraud related to his use of a state vehicle and state credit card to purchase gas for personal trips. Elected in 2008, Ketchum’s term in office was set to end in 2020.
In the Division 2, voters will fill the unexpired term of Justice Robin Davis. Davis retired in August, after the House of Delegates impeached her and the other remaining justices on the Court. Davis was re-elected in 2012, and her term ends in 2024.
- Huntington Herald-Dispatch (H-D)/League of Women Voters of WV Candidate Profiles
- Charleston Gazette-Mail (G-M) 2018 Election Guide (see list of candidates on the right hand side of the page.)
Both guides include profiles of candidates for the Supreme Court as well as various state and local offices. Print versions were included in the Sunday, October 21 editions of the H-D and G-M. Online subscibers can download a copy from each paper’s E-Edition.
Candidate Forums & Related News Coverage
West Virginia Bar Association Forums at the WV Culture Center
- Video of Division 1 Forum (October 15, 2018) – Watch on WVPB’s YouTube Channel or Facebook
- Video of Division 2 Forum (October 18, 2018) – Watch on WVPB’s YouTube Channel or Facebook
- Candidates for Supreme Court cover everything from opioids to AR-15s (Division 1) – Beckley Register-Herald
- West Virginia Supreme Court candidates attend forum (Division 1) – Associated Press
- First Supreme Court forum held in Charleston (Division 1) – MetroNews
- Civil rights, qualifications discussed at WV Supreme Court forum (Division 2) – Beckley Register-Herald
- Forum Held for West Virginia Supreme Court Candidates (Division 2) – Associated Press
- Second forum on Supreme Court race held in Charleston (Division 2) – MetroNews
- Candidates for West Virginia Supreme Court look towards future of state’s judiciary (Division 1 & 2) – Parkersburg News and Sentinel
- West Virginia Supreme Court Division 1 Hopefuls Make Their Cases in Wheeling – the Wheeling Intelligencer
- West Virginia Supreme Court Division 2 Candidates Want Focus on Family Courts – the Wheeling Intelligencer