House Speaker Tim Armstead resigns to run for West Virginia Supreme Court

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WCHS/WVAH Reports) — West Virginia House of Delegates Speaker Tim Armstead has resigned from the House to run for the state Supreme Court.

Armstead released a statement on Twitter, saying he “looks forward to talking with (his) fellow West Virginians and working to earn their trust and votes to serve as their Supreme Court justice.”

“Although the Secretary of State’s Office has said that it is not required that I resign from the House in order to run for the court, I want to ensure that my candidacy fully complies with all state laws and standards of conduct and is above question,” Armstead said in the statement.

A photo of Armstead signing his letter of resignation from the House, effective at noon Tuesday, was posted by Jared Hunt, communications director for the House, on Twitter.

Previously, Armstead said he would run for the Supreme Court in 2020, but told MetroNews Tuesday that circumstances changed his mind.

“Justice Ketchum resigned. We did not take action to impeach him,” Armstead told Metro News. “I think it’s just more appropriate for me to run for that seat. Obviously, anyone would love to run for a longer term, but I think it’s more appropriate for me to run for the seat that was vacated by Menis Ketchum and his resignation.”

There are two seats on the Supreme Court that are open and will be on the ballot in November – a two-year term and a six-year term. The two-year term is open after Menis Ketchum retired as a justice, and the six-year term is open after Robin Davis retired as a justice.

Armstead decided not preside over matters in the House concerning impeachment of the Supreme Court because of his possible run for the state Supreme Court. He turned those duties over to John Overington, speaker pro tempore.

The House of Delegates passed a total of 11 articles of impeachment against four justices – then-justice Davis, Allen Loughry, Margaret Workman and Beth Walker.

Impeachment articles are now being considered by the West Virginia Senate.

Armstead has served as House Speaker for about four years. He has served in the House for the last 20 years.

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