2017-08-23 / Front Page

McLaughlin appointed as Judge to 23rd Judicial Circuit

Kate Shunney

Morgan County’s Prosecuting Attorney Debra McLaughlin has been appointed by Governor Jim Justice as a judge in the 23rd Judicial Circuit, to fill a vacancy created by the death of Judge John Yoder in June. Yoder was elected in May for a second term as judge in the circuit, which includes Morgan, Berkeley and Jefferson counties.

McLaughlin has served as the county’s elected Prosecuting Attorney since 2002. Prior to that, she was the county’s Assistant Prosecutor for three years. She was re-elected to the post in November 2016. McLaughlin, a Republican, has been unopposed in the last several elections.

McLaughlin lives in Berkeley Springs with her husband and children, has been an active member and organizer of the local Morgan County Soccer League. She is currently an assistant coach for the Berkeley Springs High School girls’ soccer team.

The governor’s office has not announced when McLaughlin will be sworn in to the bench.

“I have been humbled by all the confidence people have had in me and I’m excited to serve the 23rd Judicial Circuit,” McLaughlin said Monday afternoon following the announcement by the governor.

 Yoder’s eight-year term had just begun on January 1. McLaughlin will serve on the bench through the May 2018 primary, when judicial officers are elected in a non-partisan race. McLaughlin said it is her intention to seek to fill the remainder of Yoder’s unexpired term on the bench at that time.

The Morgan County Commission will have to appoint a replacement for McLaughlin. Her replacement must be a Republican, and will serve through November 2018, the next regular election. At that time, voters will choose a Prosecuting Attorney to serve out McLaughlin’s unexpired term.

“I’ve served Morgan County for 18 years and I hope to serve that long as a judge,”
 said McLaughlin.

Due to potential conflicts in cases she has prosecuted, McLaughlin expects to be working in either Jefferson or Berkeley counties once she takes the bench.

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Congratulations to our new

Congratulations to our new judge in the 23rd Judicial Circuit , Debra McLaughlin