For the Democratic nomination for two 12-year terms on West Virginia's Supreme Court, we think the better choices are incumbent Justice Robin Davis and former State Bar President Letitia "Tish" Chafin.
Each has a dynamic record in the Mountain State. We endorse them both in the May 8 primary.
Davis grew up in Boone County, the daughter of a coal miner and teacher. She graduated from Van High School, earned a bachelor's degree at West Virginia Wesleyan College, then earned both master's and law degrees at West Virginia University.
She joined her husband in the top Charleston law firm of Segal & Davis, won a partial term on the high court in 1996, then won a full term in 2000. She is running to succeed herself.
Davis has served as chief justice five times, and is a leader in issues involving children and families. Currently, she has been touring West Virginia in a crusade against school truancy. We think she deserves another term.
Chafin graduated cum laude from Marshall University, then likewise earned a WVU law degree. She joined the Mingo County law firm led by state Sen. Truman Chafin, now her husband.
In addition to her leadership in the State Bar, she is a governor of Marshall University, a director of the state Education Alliance, a director of the state Children's Home Society, and an elder of Charleston's First Presbyterian Church.
Her campaign has drawn widespread support from leaders such as Kanawha Commission President Kent Carper, former state Sen. Oshel Craigo, former state Democratic Chairman Chuck Smith and others.
Chafin is seeking the high court seat soon to be vacated by Justice Tom McHugh, who is retiring after filling the remaining two years of the late Justice Joseph Albright's term.
One of her campaign goals is to mandate recusal of judges from cases in which they have received large sums from plaintiffs or defendants. Her reform aims at the notorious episode in which Massey Energy's CEO spent $3 million to elect Justice Brent Benjamin, and the U.S. Supreme Court forced Benjamin to abstain from a Massey case.
We think both Davis and Chafin will be solid additions to West Virginia's highest court, and recommend them for Democratic nominations May 8.