HUNTINGTON — A vacancy has been filled in Cabell County as Mike McCarthy was officially sworn in as an interim magistrate Friday morning at the Cabell County Courthouse in Huntington.
McCarthy had served as interim magistrate since Aug. 9 after former Cabell County Magistrate Darrell Black announced his resignation and retirement earlier this year. The position was vacant for about a month.
“I want to thank the judges for picking me out of some candidates that were just as experienced. This is probably one of the most exciting times of my life,” McCarthy said in the moments after he was sworn in. “I’m going to do the best job I can for you all, the fairest way I can.”
McCarthy compared his feelings ahead of being named magistrate to the day he graduated from the West Virginia State Police Academy and the day his wife, Janet, said “yes” when he asked her to be his bride.
McCarthy is a former West Virginia state trooper who served in the position more than 30 years. The Marshall University graduate spent many of those years within the Executive Protection Division serving former Govs. Arch Moore, Gaston Caperton, Cecil Underwood, Bob Wise and Joe Manchin.
Cabell County Sheriff Chuck Zerkle, a longtime friend and colleague, attended Friday’s swearing-in ceremony. He spoke publicly to the courtroom before McCarthy took his oath, stating it was an excellent pick from the current judges.
“I’ve known Mike (McCarthy) for 27 years. I know his character and where he came from,” Zerkle said. “When this came up and Mike decided to make the endeavor to the bench, he called and asked me about it. I thought it was a great idea because of his background, levelheadedness and moral values.”
McCarthy will remain in the position at least until the general election in November.
According to a legal notice signed by Chief Circuit Court Judge of Cabell County Gregory Howard, when a magistrate vacancy is created with more than two years left on the term, the position must be filled by way of a nonpartisan election. West Virginia judicial races became nonpartisan in 2016.
The position is up for re-election in 2020.
Reporter Courtney Hessler contributed to this story. Follow reporter Luke Creasy on Twitter @HDcreasy.