Six candidates vying for two Sup Ct seats

By Anna Sale

Voting in the general election is still more than a year away, but the race is shaping up for the Supreme Court of appeals. Two of the court’s five seats are in play, and just one incumbent is running so far.  Justice Spike Maynard says part of the reason he wants to serve another 12-year term is to turn around the negative reputation of WV’s courts among business leaders.  

Maynard: Somebody’s called us tort hell and somebody said we were a judicial hell hole. And that’s really one of the reasons I’m running, truthfully. I really think that’s a problem that needs to be addressed. Whether you think it’s accurate or not doesn’t matter, as long as people nationally are saying it about West Virginia, we’ve got to figure out hwy they’re saying it. We’ve got to figure out why they’re saying good things about Virginia right next door and bad things about us.  

Studio: Still, Maynard acknowledges he can only do so much to change that from the Court.   

Maynard: I really don’t think the court can take the lead in it, because if you engage too much with these folks, you can end up getting yourself disqualified in cases. I think the court can do it by asking people like the Bar to provide some leadership. Business leaders, labor leaders, the court can energize these people to go talk to Forbes magazine, and the Wall Street Journal, and the US Chamber of Commerce, and frankly, I think the state Chamber of Commerce could be very helpful in this area. And I think they would be. I just think somebody needs to ask them. 

Studio: The other justice up for reelection, Larry Starcher is leaning against running, though he’s made no formal announcement. And the field of candidates seeking Maynard and Starcher’s seats is widening.

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