Former Supreme Court Justice Richard Neely is putting lots of his own money into his attempt to return to the court.
Campaign finance reports due into the Secretary of State’s office this week show Neely made a $1 million loan to his own campaign.
West Virginia judicial races are nonpartisan on ballots and are settled during the Primary Election, which has been moved to June 9 this year because of coronavirus precautions.
Three of the five seats are up on the Supreme Court this year, so the races will shape the philosophy of the majority.
Neely is running in Division 1, which includes the current chief Justice Tim Armstead.
The seat represents a 12-year term.
Armstead, a former House speaker, was initially appointed to the seat in 2018 by Gov. Jim Justice following an investigation of court finances and the resignation of then-Justice Menis Ketchum. Armstead then won a special election to retain it.
Neely previously served as a Supreme Court justice from 1973 to 1995.
His campaign finance statement for the first quarter of 2020 shows fundraising of $2,750 aside from the big personal loan.
Altogether, Neely has $1,113,431 on hand for the election home stretch.
Armstead’s campaign reported $35,259 in contributions during the reporting period.
The chief justice’s campaign has $151,784 cash on hand.
That division also includes David Hummel, a circuit judge in the district that includes Marshall, Tyler and Wetzel counties.
Hummel’s campaign raised $52,440 during the reporting period and has $66,428 available to spend.
Division 2 includes four candidates. It’s the seat currently held by Justice Margaret Workman, who is not running for re-election.
It is also a full, 12-year term.
Kanawha Circuit Judge Joanna Tabit leads the fundraising among the Supreme Court candidates in that division.
Tabit’s campaign raised $68,825 in the reporting period.
Counting prior fundraising, her campaign has $299,577 to spend.
Bill Wooton, a former state delegate and senator, reported contributions of $30,585 during the period.
But after paying prior expenses, Wooton’s campaign reports $4,032 on hand.
Kris Raynes, an assistant prosecutor in Putnam County, reported contributions of $11,985 in the period.
But once prior spending is counted in, her campaign has $6,346 on hand.
The final candidate listed in the District 2 race, Kanawha Family Circuit Judge Jim Douglas, doesn’t have a report for the period listed on the Secretary of State’s website.
The dashboard on the elections page for the Secretary of State’s office also lists Douglas with no money on hand.
The final seat, Division 3, represents the unexpired term of former Justice Allen Loughry, who resigned and is serving jail time on a federal fraud conviction.
Loughry took office in 2013 and served five years of the term until resigning on Nov. 12, 2018.
Justice John Hutchison, who had been a circuit judge in Raleigh County, then was appointed to the seat by Governor Justice but hasn’t yet faced election to it.
Hutchison’s campaign raised $55,652 during the reporting period. One of his contributors was Justice, who gave $2,800.
His campaign has $175,291 on hand to spend.
Another candidate in the division is Lora Dyer, a circuit judge in Jackson County.
Dyer’s campaign raised $4,885 during the period.
The Dyer campaign has $9,067 on hand to spend.
The final listed candidate in the 3rd district, Charleston lawyer William Schwartz, doesn’t have any financial activity for the 2020 Supreme Court race on the Secretary of State’s Elections site, although the Schwartz campaign does appear to have an active website and Facebook page.