Dark Money Pours Into West Virginia Ahead of State Supreme Court Election - 2020-06-07
When West Virginians go to the polls on Tuesday, June 9, to elect three new Supreme Court of Appeals justices, in at least one of the contests voters will likely have heard more about the candidates from outside groups funded by corporate interests and secret donors than from the candidates themselves. That's because two groups—the Republican State Leadership Committee's (RSLC) Judicial Fairness Initiative and ReSet West Virginia PAC—have spent a combined $2.7 million to boost their preferred candidates and blanket the airwaves with television ads, far more than any of the candidates have spent on ads.
The outside spending has focused on the First District race between incumbent Supreme Court Chief Justice Tim Armstead, former Supreme Court Justice Richard Neely, and circuit judge David Hummel.
The RSLC's Judicial Fairness Initiative has spent more than $1.5 million since May 12 on television ads and other forms of expenditures that oppose Neely or support Armstead, according to campaign finance records maintained by the Office of the West Virginia Secretary of State. That amount far outweighs the $163,000 the Armstead campaign has spent, according to state records.