W.Va. GOP endorses three state Supreme Court candidates

Staff Report

CHARLESTON — The executive committee of the West Virginia Republican Party endorsed three candidates for the state Supreme Court at its winter meeting earlier this month, the party announced on Monday.

The party endorsed Chief Justice Tim Armstead, Judge Lora Dyer of Jackson County and Kris Raynes, an assistant prosecuting attorney in Putnam County.

The election for the Supreme Court is non-partisan. Voters will choose three judges.

“The State Supreme Court is very important to the lawmaking process in West Virginia. As we have seen over the past few years, a runaway Supreme Court is as dangerous to liberty and republican government as any irresponsible legislator or reckless executive,” Melody Potter, state party chairman, said. “The state executive committee has sought fit to intervene and express our voice and let the voters of West Virginia know which candidates will be the best candidates for the Constitution and the rule of law.”

Armstead is a former speaker of the House of Delegates and was appointed to the court by the governor to fill the vacancy when Menis Ketchum resigned in 2018. He is running in Division 1.

Raynes, a former special assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of West Virginia, also is a part-time municipal prosecutor in Nitro and Winfield. She is running in Division 2.

Dyer was elected May 2016 as a circuit judge for the 5th Judicial Circuit of Jackson, Mason, Roane and Calhoun counties. She is running in Division 3.

Other candidates for the high court are Division 1: David Hummel Jr. of Moundsville and Richard Neely of Charleston; Division 2: Jim Douglas of of Charleston, Joanna I. Tabit of Charleston, William R. “Bill” Wooton of Beckley, and Division 3: John A. Hutchison of Beckley and Bill Schwartz of Charleston.