The state Supreme Court has ruled that a replacement House of Delegates candidate will be on the Nov. 4 general election ballot in Kanawha County. The Justices ruled Wednesday that Marie Sprouse-McDavid should be on the ballot for the 35th House district after sitting Delegate Suzette Raines withdrew as a candidate this summer. The Kanawha County Republican Executive Committee and Sprouse-McDavid had filed a petition with the court last week to hear the case. Because of the impending election, the case was heard Tuesday and ruled upon quickly. In Wednesday’s decision, the Justices rule that the KCREC “has demonstrated sufficient grounds to warrant issuance of the requested writ of mandamus.”
Wednesday’s memorandum decision was signed by Chief Justice Robin Jean Davis, Justice Brent Benjamin and Justice Margaret Workman. Justice Allen Loughry and Justice Menis Ketchum also signed it and submitted concurring opinions.
Citing a 1992 state Supreme Court ruling Cravotta v. Hechler, the Justices said this case was essentially “the reincarnation” of that 22-year-old case.
It “suggests that the commission (SEC) still does not fully comprehend the ramifications of its actions: here, the same fact pattern has once again given rise to the same decision by the commission to accept the prior candidate’s withdrawal but to refuse to authorize the appointment of a replacement candidate because it does not feel sufficient ‘extenuating personal circumstances’ have been presented to warrant such appointment,” according to the decision.