"I will always put the Constitution and the rule of law before everything else. I want to continue to be a consensus builder on our court. I am looking forward to getting my focus back on the work at the court. Tomorrow, I will be rolling up my sleeves and getting back to the real tasks at hand."
Asked about having to work as a justice and to campaign for re-election, Davis said, "It has been very, very difficult, very taxing. Because elections are political races, you have to do it if you want to maintain your position and keep your seat. It has been a tough 14 months. But the hard work has paid off," Davis said during a telephone interview.
Born and raised in Boone County, where her mother was a schoolteacher/administrator and her father was a coal miner. Davis graduated from Van High School, earned a bachelor's degree at West Virginia Wesleyan College, then earned her master's and law degrees from West Virginia University.
Initially elected to a four-year unexpired term in 1996, Davis won election to her first 12-year term in 2000.
During this year's election, Davis was supported by several associations of police and firefighters, the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce, United Auto Workers, several construction trades unions, the West Virginia Medical Political Action Committee and the state Bankers Association PAC.
Chafin, wife of state Sen. Truman Chafin, D-Mingo, called during the campaign for rules that would make justices explain in writing their reasons for remaining on a case if lawyers wanted them off the case for a perceived conflict of interest.
"The Supreme Court needs to be fair, balanced and transparent," Chafin said Tuesday before the polls closed. "Transparency is a rule that calls for a disclosure of any correspondences that take place between another judicial officer and a member of the court."
Two years ago, Yoder narrowly lost a Supreme Court race to incumbent Justice Thomas McHugh, who was filling out the final two years of the term of Justice Joe Albright, who died in March 2009.
Late Monday evening, Yoder said, "I just congratulated Justice Davis and Allen Loughry and wished them the best. I really don't have much else to say.
"The good thing for me is that I still have a job, which I like very much, as a circuit judge in the Eastern Panhandle, a very beautiful part of the state. That is the positive thing for me."
Yoder served in the West Virginia Senate between 1992 and 1996, then again between 2004 and 2008. He practiced law in Harpers Ferry between 1985 and 2008, then became a circuit judge in the Eastern Panhandle.
The Supreme Court's other three justices are Workman and Menis Ketchum, both Democrats, and Brent Benjamin, a Republican. Benjamin's seat is the next up for election in 2016.
Reach Paul J. Nyden at pjny...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5164.