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W.Va. Supreme Court: Armstead is right choice for seat

Armstead is right choice for seat

West Virginia voters knew in November 2018 that we needed to get back to basics on the state Supreme Court. Justices committed to fairness, honesty, frugality and upholding the law and the state constitution were needed.

Voters selected Tim Armstead to fill one of the unexpired terms on the court. In only about a year and a half since he won that election, Armstead has justified the trust voters placed in him.

Now, he is one of three candidates seeking a full 12-year term on the state’s highest court. He is running in Division 1 on the June 9 primary election ballot. Because judicial posts are filled through nonpartisan elections now, the primary winner will take office.

The case for Armstead is simple:

• Since being elected, he has helped to put in place strong new ethics standards, with accountability to ensure they are followed.

• Conscientious stewardship of taxpayers’ money is a priority for Armstead. He helped pare down the judicial system budget, to the point that the one for fiscal 2021 is $4 million less than five years ago.

• Integrity has been a hallmark of Armstead’s decades of public service. That and his leadership qualities were keys to him being named speaker of the state House of Delegates in 2015. He left that post to seek election to the court.

• Among his priorities as a justice are continuing to improve the judicial system’s approach to battling West Virginia’s substance abuse crisis. In particular, Armstead wants to employ tools such as Family Treatment Courts to protect abused and neglected children.

• Armstead believes the courts should interpret the law and the state constitution — not attempt to legislate from the bench. For years, that was a serious problem with the state Supreme Court.

• Along with that attitude goes a firm commitment to ensuring West Virginians have access to justice and are treated fairly by the courts.

• Transparency — real openness, not just promises — also is part of Armstead’s philosophy.

Armstead’s experience as a lawyer and leader in the House of Delegates, combined with his determination that the people of West Virginia would have justice, made him a wise selection for the state Supreme Court in 2018. His record since then has confirmed to voters that the right choice was made.

We endorse Armstead for the state Supreme Court in Division 1 and recommend he be re-elected June 9.

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