3rd District seat to remain vacant following appointment of Jenkins

August 28, 2018

HUNTINGTON - Now that its elected representative is one of two interim justices serving on the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals, the 3rd District of West Virginia in the U.S. House of Representatives is without voting representation for four months.

Evan Jenkins, the Republican elected to serve the district in 2015, was appointed Saturday by Gov. Jim Justice to fill the space left by Justice Robin Davis when she resigned amid the state Legislature’s Supreme Court impeachment proceedings. Jenkins will serve as justice until voters in the Nov. 6 election either elect him or another candidate to finish Davis’ term, set to expire in 2024.

Jenkins would have left his seat in the House at the beginning of the new year after choosing to run for Senate. He was defeated in the primary election by current state Attorney General Patrick Morrisey.

Jenkins filed his candidacy this month in the Division 2 Supreme Court race.

When Jenkins resigns from his House position, West Virginia law does not require the position be filled in the interim. State code outlines various timelines for vacancies that occur in U.S. House of Representatives, but they all require more time than is available between now and the November election. Thus, the vacant seat will remain vacant until the successor is elected, certified, and takes the congressional oath of office on Jan. 3, 2019.

Voters will choose between Republican candidate Carol Miller and Democratic candidate Richard Ojeda to send to Washington.

In the meantime, Jenkins’ office will fall under the Office of the Clerk, said Patrick Howell, Jenkins’ chief of staff.

“The office will officially become the Office of the Third District of West Virginia. All of the staff will continue to work for the Third District under the jurisdiction of the Office of the Clerk until the close of business on the day the election is certified. We will continue to process constituent casework for residents of the Third Congressional District,” Howell said in a statement to The Herald-Dispatch.

Follow reporter Taylor Stuck on Twitter and Facebook @TaylorStuckHD.

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