Will W.Va. Judicial Election Change Have Unintended Consequences?

With a new process under way this year for choosing West Virginia Supreme Court justices, the election on May 10 could have unintended consequences for some of those who sought reform, commentator Hoppy Kercheval writes at West Virginia Metro News.

The election will be non-partisan under a new law adopted by the legislature. Among those who pushed for change, Kercheval says, were some leading business organizations and the GOP. Yet the process might result in the election of former Attorney General Darrell McGraw, also a former justice, who has had a long political career and whose name may be better known than his four rivals, according to Kercheval. And here is why his election might displease some of the reformers:

“The Chamber of Commerce, Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse and the GOP have been battling with McGraw for years. They have accused McGraw of being an anti-business activist who used his AG’s office as a platform to run his campaigns (McGraw lost re-election to a sixth term in 2012).  McGraw has fired back that he consistently looked out for the interests of the people against big business.”

The five-way field also includes former state legislator William “Bill” Wooton, incumbent Justice Brent Benjamin,  attorney Beth Walker and attorney Wayne King. You can learn more about their campaigns from Gavel Grab.