Yoder, Loughry Have Strong Edge in Experience in State Supreme Court Race

April 11, 2012

Tish Chafin wants to be your next West Virginia State Supreme Court of Appeals justice.

The AFL-CIO loves her. So does the UMWA. I would imagine that you can throw the trial lawyers in there as well. But what are her qualifications?

She headed the West Virginia State Bar. She is married to southern West Virginia kingfish State Senator Truman Chafin. According to the Charleston Gazette, she is a lawyer based in Mingo County. Chafin also serves on a bunch of different important sounding boards courtesy of her husband.

But what else?

Is this the best that the Democrats can do?

Chafin is not a horrible human being who will eat our babies and kick puppies. But compared to the Republican contenders, she is woefully inexperienced.

The other Democratic candidates include incumbent Justice Davis, circuit judges J.D. Beane and Jim Rowe, current Supreme Court law clerk Louis Palmer and New Martinsville attorney H. John “Buck” Rogers.

Count out the incumbent.  The West Virginia judiciary’s unfriendliness to business has turned away investment.  One publication even described the state as a “judicial hellhole.”  It is doubtful that other Democratic candidates could help strengthen the state’s reputation here.

That leaves the Republican contenders.

Dr. Alan Loughry once served in the administration of Governor Gaston Caperton, but now is running as a Republican. He wrote Don’t Buy Another Vote, I Won’t Pay For a Landslide, which described a half century of scandal and corruption that permeated state politics. Loughry also earned four separate law degrees. He has years of experience working for the state attorney general’s office. Loughry has committed himself to fighting corruption, even at the expense of his own advancement.

Even more impressive, Circuit Judge John Yoder served in the Department of Justice in the 1980s, worked directly under a US Supreme Court Chief Justice, practiced as a courtroom attorney, won two terms in the West Virginia State Senate, and currently serves in the 23rd judicial circuit.

Few people in the entire state are more qualified and experienced than Judge Yoder to fill this office.

Will professional and judicial experience carry the day, or ties to old school cronies?

West Virginia needs experience in its high court.


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Tags: Alan Loughry, Judge John Yoder, Tish Chafin

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