Pledging to Restore Integrity, Democrats Win W. Va. High Court Seats

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Voters sent two Democrats to the West Virginia Supreme Court yesterday after a controversial justice accused of vacationing with a litigant was defeated in the primary.

Defeated Chief Justice Elliott “Spike” Maynard was defeated in May after photos surfaced showing him vacationing in Monte Carlo with the CEO of Massey Energy Co., which had a pending case before the court.

The election winners were Menis Ketchum and Margaret Workman, the Charleston Gazette reports. Ketchum had spent $1.2 million on his campaign while Workman spent close to $300,000. Both candidates had said restoring the court’s integrity was their top priority, the Herald-Dispatch reports.

During the campaign, Ketchum had been criticized as a trial lawyer unfriendly to business interests. Workman, who served on the state supreme court from 1988 through 2000, was criticized by an anti-abortion group for an opinion she wrote on abortion funding, according to West Virginia Public Broadcasting.

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