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West Virginia Supreme Court Rejects Challenge To Governor's Appointment


The West Virginia Supreme Court gave the green light for the governor’s appointment of a state lawmaker caught in the middle of a Republican dispute.

After a hearing on Tuesday, the court rejected a challenge by officials in Wayne County who alleged Republican Gov. Jim Justice did not follow state law when he filled a vacant seat in the legislature last month.

Republican Del. Joshua Booth will be allowed to assume his duties as a legislator after the court rescinded a block on him taking office. The legislature will begin its annual 60-day session on Wednesday.

The seat was formerly held by Derrick Evans, who resigned after being charged with illegally entering the U.S. Capitol in the Jan. 6 riot with a mob of Donald Trump supporters.

The dispute over Booth’s appointment had fueled a state GOP fracas. The chair of the Wayne County Republican committee, Jeffrey Maynard, lodged the challenge and temporarily succeeded in blocking Booth from taking office. He claimed the head of the state party and Justice intervened to select Booth over three other names the Wayne County Republican Executive Committee had voted on and sent to the governor.

But the Justice administered argued Maynard and local officials failed to follow the correct procedure, allowing the governor to pick a new name sent by the state party’s acting chairman, Roman Stauffer.

West Virginia Solicitor General Lindsay See said the names to fill a delegate seat needed to be sent to the governor from the local party committee of the delegate’s district, rather than of the county.

John Bryan, an attorney representing Maynard, failed to sway the justices that both committees are largely comprised of the same members.