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20 file for two vacant West Virginia Supreme Court seats

August 24, 2018

CHARLESTON — Twenty-one people — including two from Putnam County — have filed for two vacant seats on the West Virginia State Supreme Court. Midnight Tuesday was the deadline for the Nov. 6 election.

The vacancies came amid an impeachment investigation in the West Virginia Legislature and a federal investigation into the court as a whole that so far has led to 11 articles of impeachment in the West Virginia Legislature and two federal criminal cases against Ketchum and suspended Justice Allen Loughry.

Former Justice Robin Davis, who was among the justices impeached, announced her retirement Aug. 14. The seats previously occupied by Ketchum and Davis are those up for election Nov. 6.

Ketchum’s term expires in 2020, and Davis’ term expires in 2024. On the ballot, the election for Ketchum’s seat will be identified as “Division 1” and the election for Davis’ seat will be “Division 2.”

Here are the filings:

Division 1

Eleven people are seeking the Division 1 seat: attorney Ronald Hatfield Jr. of Huntington, Circuit Judge Chris Wilkes of Martinsburg, Harry C. “Bo” Bruner Jr. of Charleston, Robert H. Carlton of Williamson, Carl E. Hostler of Scott Depot, D.C. Offutt Jr. of Barboursville, Kanawha Circuit Judge Joanna Tabit of Charleston, former West Virginia House Speaker Tim Armstead of Elkview, Hiram “Buck” Lewis IV of Procious, Jeff C. Woods of Nitro and Mark Hunt of Charleston.

Division 2

Ten people are seeking the Division 2 seat: Kanawha Family Court Judge Jim Douglas, U.S. Rep. Evan Jenkins of Huntington, William Schwartz of Charleston, Dennise Renee Smith of Charleston, Boone Circuit Judge William Stewart Thompson, Robert Frank of Lewisburg, Jim O’Brien of Wheeling, Jeffrey Kessler of Glen Dale, Brenden D. Long of Hurricane and Marty Sheehan of Wheeling.

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