Elections, Government

West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals-Division 1

Tim Armstead headshot
Tim Armstead

Tim Armstead

Age:  55

Residence: Elkview

Education:  B.A. history and political science, University of Charleston; law degree, WVU College of Law.

Political and civic experience:  Chief justice, January 2020–present;  and justice, September 2018–present, West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals; speaker of the West Virginia House of Delegates, 2015-2018; House minority leader, 2007-2015; minority chair, House Judiciary Committee, 2005-2007; member, West Virginia House of Delegates, 1998-2018; executive assistant to the chief-of-staff, office of Gov. Cecil H. Underwood, 1997-1998; member, Archives and History Commission, 1990-1994; press intern, office of Gov. Arch A. Moore Jr., 1986-1987.

Professional experience: In-house attorney, natural gas industry, 2001-2016; attorney, Steptoe & Johnson, 1998-2001; executive assistant to the chief-of-staff for Gov. Cecil H. Underwood, 1997-1998; attorney, Carey, Hill and Scott, 1994-1997; former adjunct professor of constitutional law, University of Charleston; law clerk to United States District Judge David A. Faber, 1992-1994; attorney, Spilman, Thomas, Battle & Klostermeyer, 1990-1992; library assistant, West Virginia Archives and History Library, 1983-1986.

Campaign statement: I am honored to serve as chief justice of your supreme court.  I have worked hard to restore our people’s trust in the court and have helped establish high standards of ethics and accountability.  A fiscal conservative, I have reduced the court’s budget, eliminating wasteful spending of the taxpayers’ hard-earned tax dollars.  If re-elected, I will continue this work. I will follow the Constitution and the rule of law and not legislate from the bench.  

Top priorities: While we have made tremendous progress, we must continue to rebuild the trust of our citizens by performing our work with integrity, efficiency and openness.  In addition, the opioid crisis in our state has resulting in devastating abuse and neglect of many children.  Our judges need additional tools, such as drug counseling and family services and additional family treatment courts to help ensure each child can grow up in a safe, healthy and loving home.

David Hummel, Jr. headshot
David Hummel, Jr.

David Hummel, Jr.

Age:   Currently I am 49, but by the June 9 election I will be 50

Residence: Moundsville

Education:   J.D., University of Oklahoma College of Law, with Distinction,  1995;      B.B.A. (business administration) Marshall University, cum laude, 1992;      National Judicial College, general jurisdiction course,  October 2009, Reno,            Nev.; graduate of John Marshall High School, Glen Dale, Marshall County.

Political and civic experience:  At the age of 38, I was elected to serve as a circuit court judge.  In 2016, I was re-elected and am currently in my second eight-year term serving as the chief judge of the Second Judicial Circuit (lower portion of the northern panhandle).  I am the only candidate in my race who does not reside in Kanawha County.  Counties north of Kanawha County have unique issues which I am thoroughly knowledgeable about.      

 Professional experience: As an attorney actively engaged in the practice of law, I represented individuals, businesses or the State of West Virginia (five years as an assistant prosecuting attorney) in nearly every aspect of the law.  As a circuit court judge, I have presided over thousands of criminal and civil actions, including more than 70 jury trials.  I am the only candidate in my race who has this valuable experience.  

Campaign statement: I am the only candidate in my division who has ever been a circuit court judge.  Although it is not a requirement, I believe that serving as a circuit court judge provides invaluable insight and experience to being truly qualified to serve as a justice of West Virginia’s highest court.  In that position, I preside over the Drug Treatment Court where we work to help people and families overcome addiction and manage mental health issues.

Top priorities: When elected, I want to take the knowledge and experience I have gained over my career, including the 12 years as a circuit court judge, and work to further develop West Virginia’s approach to dealing with addiction and mental health issues.  All too often, persons charged with crimes or alleged to have abused children are drug addicts and/or have undiagnosed and untreated mental or psychological disorders.  I know we can do more and better. 

Richard Neely headshot
Richard Neely

Richard Neely

Age: 78

Residence:  Charleston 

Education:  A.B. Dartmouth College (economics) 1964; LL.B. Yale Law School, 1967. 

Political and civic experience:  Captain, U.S. Army Artillery, Republic of Vietnam, 1967-1969; member, West Virginia House of Delegates from Marion County, 1971-1973; chairman, Marion County Board of Public Health, 1969-1973; justice and chief justice, West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals, 1973-1995.

Professional experience:  Practicing lawyer 1969-1973; West Virginia Supreme Court Justice and chief justice 1973-1995; practicing lawyer at Neely & Callaghan, Charleston, 1995-present; general counsel, Charleston Gazette 2010–2018; general counsel, WiLine Networks Inc. 2015-present; professor of economics, University of Charleston, 1978-1989; member of the Yale Law School Executive Committee, 2008-2012: author of  several books and major articles, including the book, “How Courts Govern America” and The Atlantic cover story, “The Politics of Crime.”

Campaign statement: At present West Virginia courts are a shambles, which means that, because of inordinate delay and indifference to the problems of working people, the courts aren’t performing their primary function. I pledge to use the courts at every opportunity to return control of this country to the working people.

Top priorities: Currently the West Virginia Supreme Court is backed up between 19 and 28 months. This is because the court refuses to follow Article 8, Section 4 of the state Constitution. Where courts are incompetent the strong  beat the weak every time, I will work to make the courts efficient again.