WILLIAMSON, W.Va. — It’s anticipated Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin will appoint someone to fill the vacant circuit judge’s seat in Mingo County a few days after Tuesday’s primary election.
A Tomblin administration official told MetroNews Monday Tomblin will likely appoint the person who wins Tuesday. There are four candidates running in the Democratic primary. There are no Republicans seeking the seat.
“The governor wants residents to decide,” the official said.
Two senior status judges have been presiding in Mingo County since last year’s resignation of Judge Michael Thornsbury. He’ll be sentenced later this year on a federal criminal conviction.
The state Judicial Vacancy Advisory Commission conducted interviews in December and recommended Mingo County public defenders Teresa McCune and Duke Jewell to fill the vacancy but Tomblin passed. State law doesn’t require him to make a choice from those recommendations.
McCune and Jewell are on the ballot Tuesday along with Williamson attorney Robert Carlton and Mingo County Family Court Judge Miki Thompson.
McCune and Carlton told the Charleston Daily Mail last week they anticipate the governor to appoint the person elected.
The person who wins the general election in November would complete the unexpired term through 2016.