Six Democratic candidates will face off in the May primaries for the two available seats on the state's high court. Along with Chafin and Davis, Supreme Court Clerk Louis Palmer, Greenbrier Circuit Judge Jim Rowe and H. John "Buck" Rogers attended Thursday's meeting. Wood County Circuit Judge J.D. Beane was in court Thursday and could not attend.
Supreme Court lawyer Allen Loughry and Jefferson Circuit Judge John Yoder are unopposed in the Republican primary.
Rowe advocated further expansion of the Supreme Court's relatively new drug court and truancy court initiatives, having himself spearheaded a truancy program in the 11th Circuit that lowered high school dropout rates from 120 a year to less than 20. Attendance rates, he said, have risen from around 90 percent to 97 percent.
"I want to see that duplicated statewide," he said.
Palmer has served as a clerk on the Supreme Court for 16 years. He said he has intimate knowledge of how the court operates and has an understanding of the law consistent with any sitting justice.
"My ultimate basis for running for Supreme Court," Palmer said, "is that it is an extension of me, as far as what judges do."
Rogers, a Wetzel County lawyer and political maverick, said he disagrees with several Supreme Court policies, including the recusal rules.
Reach Zac Taylor at Zachary.Tay...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5189.