Associated Press Published

Judge Hears Appeal of Supreme Court Campaign Finance Ruling

Justice Brent Benjamin at a community forum in 2015.

A Kanawha County judge has heard arguments in a case challenging the $500,000 of public campaign finance money state Supreme Court Justice Brent Benjamin was awarded for his re-election bid.

Beth Walker, who is running against Benjamin, originally challenged the public financing with the State Election Commission. The Morgantown lawyer argued that technical issues should have prevented Benjamin from being eligible for the money.

The SEC unanimously approved public financing for the Benjamin campaign earlier this month over Walker’s objections. Walker’s campaign appealed the ruling and is asking Circuit Judge Tod Kaufman to overturn it.

The Supreme Court election takes place on May 10.

Kaufman heard the oral arguments on Friday and said he would rule within several days.