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Allen Loughry: Court must resist the influence of politics

Oct. 07, 2012 @ 12:15 AM

I am hopeful people take time to study the candidates for this year's election. I am a lifelong resident of West Virginia. I grew up just outside of Parsons, a town of approximately 1,200 people, in Tucker County. My upbringing was in a middle-class family where politics was an integral part of our lives. My father was a partner in a construction company, later a small business owner, and then the Tucker County assessor. My mother worked several years at the local shoe factory and now works as a secretary in Parsons. I now live and work in Charleston. I have a wonderful wife, Kelly, and we are the proud parents of our 6-year-old son, Justus.

I attended WVU for my undergraduate degree and later graduated with my first law degree from Capital University School of Law. Over the years, I obtained four separate law degrees, including a Master of Laws in Criminal Justice and another Master of Laws in Law and Government from the University of London and from The American University, Washington College of Law. I also received my Doctor of Juridical Science from American University. It was my doctoral dissertation that began the research for what later became my book, "Don't Buy Another Vote, I Won't Pay for a Landslide," a non-partisan look at the history of political corruption in West Virginia. I was honored to have U.S. Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., and the late Robert C. Byrd of West Virginia write the introductions to my book. In fact, it was the only book that Senator Byrd wrote an introduction to during his entire tenure in office.

During the past 25 years, I have worked in all three branches of government. I worked as a direct aide for Gov. Gaston Caperton, worked as a special assistant to a U.S. congressman, worked as an assistant to a county prosecutor and was appointed special prosecuting attorney. I also served as a senior assistant attorney general where I argued more than 20 cases in front of the Supreme Court. I have argued or filed legal pleadings at every level of our legal system from the magistrate level to the U.S. Supreme Court. In my current position, I have served as a lawyer at the West Virginia Supreme Court for the past 10 years and have worked on thousands of cases that have come before our court. Separate from my work as an attorney, I am an adjunct professor in the political science department at the University of Charleston. It is my experience in and around West Virginia government and the courts that has led me to seeking a seat on the Supreme Court.

This year's election for the Supreme Court is critically important to our state's future. We have five members on our court and two seats are up for election this year. That means that 40 percent of the court will be chosen on Nov. 6 for two 12-year terms. West Virginians should care deeply about who they elect because the decisions of the court will affect people's lives for generations. I want to be a positive addition to our state's judicial system.

I believe that in order for our state to prosper, we have to get rid of the corruption and reform our political system. Likewise, in order to have a justice system that is not influenced by the legislative and executive branches or by pressure from special interest groups, justice must be blind of politics. As a justice on the Supreme Court, I will strictly follow the Constitution and represent the people of West Virginia and the judiciary with honor, integrity and high ethical standards.

I am pleased to let you know that my candidacy has been endorsed by large politically active and well-respected groups such as the WV Chamber of Commerce, the WV Coal Association, the WV State Medical Association, the WV Hospital Association, the WV Farm Bureau, the Family Foundation Inc., State Farm PAC, and West Virginians for Life. Please go to my website at www.AllenLoughry.com to learn more about me and my candidacy for Supreme Court.

Allen Loughry, of Kanawha County, is a Republican candidate for the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals.

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