JAS Tracking of Campaign Ad Spending Featured in West Virginia

WV-Supreme-Court-SealWith five candidates seeking a seat on the West Virginia Supreme Court in an election on May 10, one candidate has begun buying TV advertising time, The West Virginia Record reports, citing data from Justice at Stake (see Gavel Grab).

The campaign of former state legislator Bill Wooton purchased TV ad contracts worth at least $28,380. He is competing in a race for the seat currently held by Justice Brent Benjamin, who is seeking re-election. Also running are attorney Wayne King, former state Attorney General Darrell McGraw, Jr., and attorney Beth Walker. West Virginia’s Supreme Court elections are nonpartisan, and provide the opportunity for candidates to use public financing for their campaigns.

The Record also cited election spending history: “Justice at Stake said the total costs for the 2012 West Virginia Supreme Court race for two seats reached almost $3.7 million. Of that, nearly $1.3 million was spent on television ads. It also notes that the most expensive West Virginia Supreme Court election was in 2004 when total costs were over $6 million in a race for one seat. Benjamin was elected in that race, defeating incumbent Justice Warren McGraw, who is Darrell McGraw’s brother.”