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Justice selects Paul Hardesty, lobbyist for Justice companies, selected to fill Ojeda’s seat

By DYLAN VIDOVICH

The Herald-Dispatch

Paul Hardesty

CHAPMANVILLE, W.Va. — West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice, shortly after receiving a list of three possible replacements for state Sen. Richard Ojeda, made a quick decision Thursday, selecting Paul Hardesty, a lobbyist whose clients include several companies owned by the Justice family, to serve the remainder of the term.

The 7th Senate District Democratic Executive Committee met Thursday afternoon to choose its three candidates to recommend to Justice after Ojeda resigned earlier this week to focus on his candidacy for president.

The mostly informal meeting at Giovanni’s in Chapmanville, West Virginia, lasted about an hour and a half and included short speeches by each candidate who applied for the seat. In addition to Hardesty, the committee’s top vote-getters were Art Kirkendoll and Harry Keith White.

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