With its decision today, the WVa Supreme Court raised and fired the starter pistol on the horse race for governor. The Legislature will no doubt erase the present party convention mechanism to select party candidates and call for a primary probably in May. The odds on favorites right now are Betty Ireland (R) and Natalie Tennant (D). It will be unusual and odd to watch a one race election unfold across the state. Candidates no doubt are rushing to hire consultants, make phone calls, determine the message and start raising money.
It is intriguing that the court’s opinion was written by Justice Benjamin who himself was the subject of an important US Supreme Court election law decision recently.
The odd dynamic is how the Legislature will function this session. Remember the three way gun fight in “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly“? Remember we have three announced gubernatorial candidates in charge: Speaker Thompson, Acting President Kessler and Acting Governor Tomblin. Please do not ask me who is the good, who is the bad and who is the ugly. But presumably if any of them can “shoot” the other whenever “high noon” comes about Legislatively things will get so interesting.