CHARLESTON, W.Va.¬†—¬†Beckley attorney and former state lawmaker Bill Wooten announced Thursday on MetroNews “Talkline” his plans to run for state Supreme Court next year.

Wooten has considered a run for years, saying he’s put it off more than he should.

“I’ve always wanted to run for the Supreme Court. It’s been the dream of my life and I’m going to do it,” he said.

The 2016 election will mark the first judicial election in West Virginia under the new non-partisan provisions approved by state lawmakers earlier this year. That may make it more difficult for candidates this time because there will be no primary election, Wooten said.

“I think a lot of people wait until November (to think about elections) and it will be over before they focus on it,” Wooten said.

Wooten served more than a dozen years in the state Senate, with much of that time as the Senate’s Judiciary Committee chairman. His legislative experience also includes several terms in the House of Delegates. He was part of the Democratic leadership teams in both bodies. Wooten was an assistant state

Former state lawmaker Bill Wooten has announced his candidacy for state Supreme Court

Submitted photo

Former state lawmaker Bill Wooten has announced his candidacy for state Supreme Court

Attorney General in the 1970s.

Wooten plans to raise money by taking the public financing option avaiable for his campaign.

“(It’s) easier to raise money. And I think there’s a bit of a taint to a candidate who is involved in raising money,” Wooten said.

Wooton is a Baptist and a retired Colonel of the West Virginia Army National Guard and the U.S. Army Reserve. He is a graduate of Marshall University and the West Virginia University College of Law.

He currently manages a private law firm in Beckley.

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