Candidate enters field for 2010 W.Va. SC race

John O'Brien Apr. 16, 2009, 12:53pm


MARTINSBURG, W.Va. (Legal Newsline) - The West Virginia Supreme Court race of 2010 has its first candidate, a circuit judge from the Eastern Panhandle.

Berkeley County Circuit Court Judge John Yoder told The Journal that he will run for the spot vacated by the March 20 death of Justice Joseph Albright.

Yoder told the paper that he plans to represent the rest of the state, considering four of the five justices are from Kanawha County and the fifth is from nearby Cabell County.

"But if you add up those populations, even adding in Putnam, which is in between Kanawha and Cabell counties, you get 341,037, which is just about 19 percent of the state's population. Yet that 19 percent of the state's population has 100 percent of the justices on the West Virginia Supreme Court," he said, according to the report.

The winner of the 2010 race will only serve the remaining two years of Albright's term. Former Justice Thomas McHugh has been named to the bench until the election.

Albright died March 20 at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center due to complications of esophageal cancer.

He had been appointed to the bench by Gov. Gaston Caperton in 1995, to serve out the remainder of an unexpired term until Dec. 1996.

Albright successfully ran for election to the bench in 2000.

Yoder previously ran for U.S. Senate in 1990.

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