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West Virginia Supreme Court candidate campaigns with cloth masks

West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals candidate William Schwartz, left, presents cloth masks to Camden Clark Foundation Executive Director Kim Couch Monday at WVU Medicine Camden Clark. (Photo Provided)

PARKERSBURG — A candidate for the West Virginia Supreme Court said he’s trying to help out while still getting his name out on a restricted campaign trail.

Charleston attorney William Schwartz is running against incumbent Justice John Hutchison and 5th Judicial Circuit Judge Lora Dyer — whose circuit includes Calhoun, Jackson and Roane counties — to complete the remaining four years of an unexpired term. But with people prohibited from gathering in groups and instructed to stay at least six feet apart to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, going out and shaking hands with voters is not an option.

So Schwartz took the advice of a friend of his son’s who works in the health care field to give out masks.

“The suggestion came to me that if you’re running, you should be doing that,” he said.

And that’s what he’s done over the last week or so, including delivering 50 masks to WVU Medicine Camden Clark on Monday. Before that, he took a batch to St. Mary’s Medical Center in Huntington. On Tuesday, he dropped some extras off at Edgewood Summit Retirement Community in Charleston.

West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals candidate William Schwartz said he’s giving out cloth masks in an effort to both get his name out for the campaign and provide the materials to those who need them. (Photo Provided)

Schwartz purchases the cloth masks from Gabby’s Sewing and More in Charleston.

“These are cloth masks, and they are reusable, and you can put a filter in them,” he said.

Schwartz said delivering the masks is “a way to get out of the house,” and, he admits, useful from a campaigning perspective.

“It has raised interest in me; there’s no doubt about it,” he said. “But to be honest with you, I’m killing two birds with one stone.

“I feel like I’m contributing,” Schwartz said. “Win or lose this campaign, this has been a great thing to be involved with.”

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