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Stories about West Virginia

Two West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals justices win reelection

Three West Virginia Supreme Court seats were up for nonpartisan election on June 9. The general election for the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia, along with West Virginia’s statewide primary election, was originally scheduled for May 12. Governor Jim Justice (R) postponed the election in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Two incumbent justices were seeking re-election while one justice did not seek re-election. Receiving 41% of the vote, incumbent Justice Tim Armstead defeated Richard Neely and David W. Hummel Jr. Incumbent Justice John A. Hutchison defeated Lora Dyer and William Schwartz with 39.2% of the vote.

Incumbent Margaret Workman did not seek re-election. William Wooton, a former Democratic member of the West Virginia House of Delegates, won the seat with 31% of the vote. He defeated Joanna I. Tabit, Kris Raynes, and Jim Douglas. Wooton will take office in January 2021.

As of May 2020, three judges on the court were appointed by a Republican governor, while two were first elected in partisan elections, one as a Democrat, and one as a Republican.

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Justice wins Republican primary for governor of West Virginia

Gov. Jim Justice defeated former Secretary of Commerce Woody Thrasher, former state Del. Mike Folk, and four others to win the Republican nomination for governor in West Virginia. As of 8:33 p.m. Eastern Time, Justice had received 66% of the vote to Thrasher’s 18% and Folk’s 9% with 8% of precincts reporting. None of the remaining candidates received over 5% of the vote.
Justice was first elected governor as a Democrat in 2016, defeating Bill Cole (R), 49% to 42%. He switched parties to become a Republican the following year. Justice is the sixth incumbent Republican governor to seek re-election in West Virginia’s history.
The race featured a high level of self-financing. According to campaign finance reports, Justice contributed $1.5 million to his campaign. Thrasher and Folk contributed roughly $3.4 million and $261,000 to their campaigns, respectively.
Justice was endorsed by President Donald Trump (R). In 2016, Trump won 68.6% of the vote in West Virginia, his largest vote share in any state in that presidential election.
Justice will face the winner of the Democratic primary in the November general election.


Salango wins West Virginia’s Democratic gubernatorial primary

Kanawha County Commissioner Ben Salango defeated Douglas Hughes, Jody Murphy, Stephen Smith, and state Sen. Ron Stollings to win the Democratic primary for governor in West Virginia. As of 11:30 p.m. ET, Salango had received 39% of the vote. Smith was second with 33% and Stollings was third with 14%. No other candidate received more than 10% of the vote.
Salango served on the Kanawha County Commission since 2017. He said his record included creating union jobs, securing paid family leave, and helping seniors get hot meals. He said his priorities as governor would include education, job creation, healthcare, and addressing the opioid issue.
Democrats have won every gubernatorial election in West Virginia since 2000.
Salango will face incumbent Gov. Jim Justice (R) in the general election. Justice was elected in 2016 as a Democrat before switching to the Republican Party in 2017.


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