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Two Eastern Panhandle judges eye seats on W.Va. Supreme Court

Wilkes files precandidacy papers

Yoder had done so in May

December 27, 2011|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD | matthew.umstead@herald-mail.com
  • Christopher C. Wilkes
Christopher C. Wilkes

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — Eastern Panhandle Circuit Judge Christopher C. Wilkes has joined a growing list of prospective candidates eyeing two state Supreme Court seats that will be on the ballot in the 2012 election.

The 55-year-old Berkeley County Republican filed precandidacy papers last week, according to Secretary of State Natalie Tennant’s office.

Wilkes, who resides near Martinsburg, could not be reached for comment Tuesday at his office in the Berkeley County Judicial Center.

By filing a precandidacy form, prospective candidates for elected offices may lawfully begin to accept contributions and make expenditures for the election, according to Tennant’s office.

The official candidate filing period begins Jan. 9.

Wilkes became the second 23rd Judicial Circuit judge to file precandidacy papers for a seat on the high court, joining John C. Yoder, 60, of Harpers Ferry, W.Va., who filed in May 2011, according to Tennant’s office.

Yoder, who confirmed Tuesday that he intends to run for the state Supreme Court, lost to Thomas McHugh in 2010 by less than 8,000 votes in a special 2010 election to complete the remaining two years of the late Justice Joseph Albright, according to Tennant’s office.

The top two vote-getters in the 2012 general election will win full, 12-year terms.

The seats held by McHugh, who is not seeking re-election, and Democratic incumbent Justice Robin Davis, who is seeking another term, will be on the ballot.

Aside from Yoder and Wilkes, the only other Republican to file precandidacy papers as of Tuesday was former Supreme Court law clerk Allen Loughry of Kanawha County, according Tennant’s office.

Democrats who have filed in addition to Davis include circuit judges J.D. Beane of Wood County and Jim Rowe of Greenbrier County, and former state bar association President Letitia “Tish” Neese Chafin, according to the Associated Press.

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