West Virginia Supreme Court elections

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Selection of state court judges in West Virginia currently occurs through partisan elections. At the end of each judge's term, he or she must run for re-election to continue serving.[1]

Under the West Virginia Constitution, judges' terms begin on January 1 following their election.[2]

In February 2015, both houses of the West Virginia State Legislature passed a bill to make judicial elections nonpartisan. The measure, pending the signature of Governor Earl Ray Tomblin, would apply to judges of all court levels beginning in 2016.[3] Visit the News section below to read more.

Selection of the chief justice or judge

The chief justice of the supreme court of appeals is selected by peer vote to serve for one year.[1]


To serve on the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals, a judge must be:

  • a citizen of West Virginia for at least five years;
  • at least 30 years old; and
  • practiced in law for at least 10 years.[1]


In the event of a midterm vacancy, the governor appoints a replacement from a list of two to five qualified applicants submitted by a nominating commission.[4] The appointee serves until the next general election, at which point he or she may compete to fill the remainder of the unexpired term.[1]


See also: West Virginia judicial elections, 2012

CandidateIncumbencyPartyPrimary VoteElection Vote
LoughryAllen Loughry   ApprovedANoRepublican26.27%   ApprovedA
RogersH. John Rogers    NoDemocratic9% 
BeaneJ.D. Beane    NoDemocratic11% 
YoderJohn Yoder    NoRepublican23.92%   DefeatedD
ChafinLetitia Chafin    NoDemocratic27%ApprovedA22.69%   DefeatedD
PalmerLouis Palmer    NoDemocratic6% 
DavisRobin Jean Davis   ApprovedAYesDemocratic28%ApprovedA27.11%   ApprovedA

See also: West Virginia judicial elections, 2010

Candidate Incumbent SeatPartyPrimary votesPrimary %Election votes Election %
Thomas E. McHugh ApprovedA Yes McHugh SeatDemocratic105,188100%239,622 50.8%
John Yoder No McHugh SeatRepublican59,492100%231,669 49.1%

Menis Ketchum and Margaret Workman were elected to the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals in a three-way race for two open seats in the general election.

In the May primary, incumbent Justice Elliott Maynard did not garner enough votes to advance to the general election. Democrat Menis Ketchum and Margaret Workman won the Democratic primary, while Beth Walker ran unopposed in the Republican primary.

Candidate Incumbent SeatPartyPrimary votesPrimary %Election votes Election %
Menis Ketchum ApprovedA No Maynard SeatDemocratic135,56327%355,778 34.8%
Margaret Workman ApprovedA No Maynard SeatDemocratic180,59935.9%336,346 32.9%
Elizabeth Walker No Maynard SeatRepublican86,545100%329,395 32.2%
Elliott E. Maynard Yes Maynard SeatDemocratic97,40919.4%
Robert Bastress No Maynard SeatDemocratic88,49017.6%

Follow the Money

For candidates' campaign contributions, see their links at Follow the Money.

See also

External links