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Beth Walker wins WV Supreme Court race

Charleston Gazette-Mail file photo Beth Walker
Charleston Gazette-Mail file photo
Beth Walker

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Buoyed by more than $3 million in outside spending from Republican and pro-business political action committees touting her candidacy and attacking challengers Darrell McGraw and Bill Wooton, Morgantown lawyer Beth Walker prevailed in West Virginia’s first nonpartisan election for the Supreme Court.

With about 70 percent of precincts reporting, Walker had a lead of more than 40,000 votes over former justice and longtime attorney general McGraw, Beckley lawyer and former legislator Wooton and incumbent Justice Brent Benjamin, who was seeking his second 12-year term on the court.

Clay County lawyer Wayne King, who ran a low-key, bare-budget campaign, was running a distant fifth in the race.

Walker said Tuesday she is looking forward to the “awesome responsibility” of being the state’s first nonpartisan justice, adding, “Obviously, we’re very excited and very grateful to the voters of West Virginia for believing in my message of a court to be nonpolitical and committed to the rule of law.”

Long championed by state Republicans, the legislation that made all judicial elections nonpartisan was one of the first bills taken up once the GOP took control of the Legislature in 2015…

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