University of Denver

West Virginia: Winners of Primary for Judicial Race Also Biggest Spenders

Former Senior Director

In the May 8 Democratic primary, an incumbent justice and a county attorney won the nomination. According to campaign finance reports filed at the end of April, the winning candidates were also the biggest spenders. The two Democratic candidates will face two Republican candidates, one of whom opted for public financing, in November.

Rebecca Love Kourlis, Executive Director of IAALS, was interviewed for the article. "A better option is a system that does not include contested races where opponents square off against one another, raise money and throw mud," Kourlis said. "A better option is a system where judges are appointed in the first place — with the use of a broad-based nominating commission to screen names — and then have their names on the ballot after a period of service for an up/down vote from the voters. Justice is the ultimate loser when judicial candidates are perceived as just one more version of politician."