Ashton Marra Published

Candidate Looks for Stay While Appealing Campaign Finance Decision

Justice Brent Benjamin at a community forum in 2015.

Supreme Court Justice Brent Benjamin has filed for a stay in his case over state public campaign finance dollars.

On Friday, a Kanawha County Circuit judge ruled the State Election Commission had erred in awarding Benjamin the public monies last month and reversed the decision to award Benjamin the money.

The lawsuit was filed by fellow Supreme Court candidate Beth Walker who had challenged Benjamin’s qualifying donations before the SEC. 

In the filing requesting the stay, Benjamin asks the judge to delay the effects of his ruling while the campaign files an appeal with the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals. The filing says there is little precedent for the court to follow because the statutes setting out the public campaign financing code are so new and haven’t been challenged. 

As of Tuesday afternoon, no appeal had been filed with the Supreme Court. 

Walker has also filed suit over the qualifying donations approved by the SEC that were entered by another Supreme Court candidate, Bill Wooten. That case is still pending in Kanawha County Circuit Court.