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HD Media is running submitted questionnaires from candidates in the 2020 elections.

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NAME: Sarah N. Spurlock

CANDIDATE FOR: Cabell County Magistrate Division 4

PARTY: Non-partisan race

CAMPAIGN WEBSITE: Facebook: Sarah Spurlock



AGE: 47

EDUCATION: Graduate 1990 Huntington High School, attended Marshall University 1990-1993, Graduate Collins Career Nursing School 2017.


OTHER WORK HISTORY: Cabell County Magistrate Clerk Deputy 2006-2016, Cabell County Circuit Clerk Deputy 2001-2006.

CIVIC ORGANIZATIONS: Member First United Methodist Church, Member of SEIU, Huntington Cabell Republican Women.

FAMILY: mother, Yvonne N. Spurlock-Sargent; grandparents, the late William S "Bill" and Gertrude Spurlock; sons, William A. McGuffin, Samuel A. McGuffin and the late Wesley B. McGuffin; grandchildren, Emily Ann McGuffin and a grandson to be born in May.

PERSONAL STATEMENT: Having worked 16 years in the Cabell county court system , I bring my years of experience and knowledge to the office of Magistrate. I have attended many training sessions required by the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals that have educated and given me the expertise required to serve as a knowledgeable and competent magistrate for Cabell County.

1. What steps might improve the workings of the courts?

I believe team work would improve the workings of the court. I bring years of experience of court procedures and policies mandated and set by the Supreme Court of Appeals. Having a new magistrate take the bench that is familiar with the demands of the system is a benefit and helps the consistency and efficiency of the court.

2. Do you believe you have the temperament to be on the bench? Explain.

Yes, I feel I possess the personality and temperament to be effective on the bench. Having worked in the magistrate court for ten years, I have had many opportunities to exhibit my temperament and reserve.

3. How do you feel about accepting contributions to your campaign? Do you feel this creates a conflict of interest or an appearance of impropriety if you are elected ?

I have accepted no contributions for my campaign. I think there are circumstances that could create conflicts when contributions are made.

4. Would you favor or oppose a system in which all sentencing decisions were routinely reported in the local paper, indexed by the name of the judge? Explain why or why not.

All court proceedings other than domestic, juvenile, and orders of protection are public record. Sentencing decisions are already available for public knowledge. With that being said, I don't oppose public reporting.

5. What do you believe to be the root causes for the high numbers of juvenile offenders? What changes can the court system make to reduce these numbers?

My personal opinion: To have a magic answer to this question would be fantastic. It's non discriminating. Any family can have a juvenile offender. One would assume it only happens to certain demographics but from my observation, it does not. I feel dedication and participation in the existing programs is the key.

6. What kinds of experience do you have with law enforcement or the law profession?

I have many friends and colleagues that are law enforcement officers. It's a very underappreciated profession and deserves the upmost respect. Officers face unknown and dangerous situations every time they leave their homes . I've had the privilege to work with judges, magistrates, attorneys, probation officers, victim advocates, correctional officers, ect. All are essential personnel necessary for an efficient judicial system.

7. How would you weigh addressing the growing jail population with public safety?

Clearly, alternative sentencing such as day report and home incarceration must be utilized especially with the current pandemic. Violent offenders cannot be considered for alternative sentencing. Public safety cannot be compromised at any cost.

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