Ashton Marra Published

Justice Benjamin to Use Public Funds for 2016 Re-election Bid

Justice Brent Benjamin at a community forum in 2015.

A West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals candidate has officially announced he will use public campaign financing in his re-election bid.

Justice Brent Benjamin is only the second candidate for the West Virginia Supreme Court to use the public campaign finance program put in place by lawmakers in 2010. Justice Allen Loughry was the first to use the funding and won his seat in 2012.

In previous months, Benjamin told West Virginia Public Broadcasting he was considering using public funds, but made his official announcement at a meeting of the Eastern Panhandle Business Association Friday.

Candidates can receive up to $525,000 in public financing for their races. The funds come from election-related civil penalties, donations and other revenue sources.

So far, Benjamin, the incumbent, has only one challenger for the 2016 race, Morgantown attorney Beth Walker.

2016 also marks the first time judges will run in West Virginia without party affiliations.