by Ron Gregory
CHARLESTON — Erik Wells’ name will not appear on the November Kanawha County general election ballot. That became known with a decision by the state Supreme Court, shortly after 11 a.m., upholding an earlier ruling by Kanawha Circuit Judge Charles King.
At issue was whether a procedure previously used by other candidates for office in West Virginia was appropriate. King said it was not and the highest court affirmed that decision today.
Effectively, the decision places incumbent Republican County Clerk Vera McCormick in a position as unopposed this fall. Wells, a Democrat, had followed a previously-outlined petition method of getting on the ballot as an Independent.
The same procedure was followed when Diann Hannah was chosen as a Mingo County Commissioner two years ago. There was nothing in the supreme court order to indicate it would be retroactive. Media reports have been that as many as seven other potential candidates in the 2016 election have used the same method and, thus, will be eliminated from the ballots.
Justice Robin Davis reserved the right to prepare a dissenting opinion.