Two winners have been announced in judges races for two seats on the bench in the 23rd judicial circuit, which includes Morgan, Berkeley and Jefferson counties.
David Hammer of Shepherdstown defeated Judge Debra McLaughlin of Berkeley Springs in the
Division 2 race. Hammer pulled in 12,408 votes over McLaughlin’s 10,192 during voting the May 8 primary. Voters in Morgan County went solidly for McLaughlin, the county’s former Prosecuting Attorney. She pulled in 68.9 percent of the vote in her home county. But ballots cast in Berkeley and Jefferson counties swung the race back to Hammer. The race was for the unexpired term of the late judge John Yoder. McLaughlin was appointed by the governor to serve on the judge’s bench in September 2017 and has been hearing cases in Berkeley County and Jefferson County Circuit Court.
Voters in Morgan County and across the Eastern Panhandle backed Steve Redding in a race for the bench in Division 4. Redding, who has been serving as an appointed judge in the 23rd circuit since March, took 52 percent of Morgan County votes in that race, edging out David Camilletti and Kim Crockett here. Across all three counties, Redding took 35 percent of the vote. He pulled in 7,911 votes to Camilletti’s 7,793 and Crockett’s 6,662 votes. Redding will serve out the remainder of the term left vacant by the retirement of judge Gray Silver III.
Former state delegate Larry Kump beat Tally Reed by a narrow margin in the
GOP primary for the House of Delegates, 59th district. Kump rolled up 986 votes to Reed’s 951 in Morgan and Berkeley counties, which make up the district. In Morgan County, Reed topped Kump, 422 to 370. Just four precincts in Morgan County are part of the 59th district.
Reed has been sued in a civil lawsuit that claims she wasn’t eligible to run for the House seat because she hasn’t lived in the district for long enough. A Kanawha County judge declined to remove Reed from the ballot before Tuesday’s primary.
Kump will face off against Democrat John Isner of Hedgesville in November.