By Kyle Lovern
Former Mingo County Circuit Judge Elliot E. “Spike” Maynard passed away Thursday after battling a lingering illness.
In 1996 the Williamson native was elected as a Democrat to the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia. A judge of West Virginia’s 30th Judicial Circuit for over 16 years, he was elected as a Democrat to a 12-year term on the Supreme Court of Appeals.
Maynard served in the United States Air Force from 1961 to 1966. He received his Bachelor of Science from Florida Southern College in 1967.
Maynard returned home and served as the managing director of the Tug Valley Chamber of Commerce from 1968 to 1970.
Maynard then went on to attend the West Virginia University College of Law and received his law degree in 1974.
Maynard was in private practice from 1974 and 1981, and also served as the prosecuting attorney for Mingo County from 1976 to 1981.
Maynard was appointed a judge of the 30th Judicial Circuit (Mingo County) in 1981. He was elected in 1981 and subsequently reelected. He served on the court until 1997.
In 1996, he was elected to a 12-year term as a justice of the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia. Maynard served as an associate justice until 2000, when he became the Chief Justice.
Maynard’s 12-year term expired in 2009. Maynard ran for re-election and was initially the strong favorite. However, in the May 13, 2008 primary election for two seats on the court, Maynard was defeated, coming in third behind former Supreme Court Justice Margaret Workman and Huntington trial lawyer Menis E. Ketchum.
In 2010, Maynard switched parties and won the Republican nomination to challenge longtime Democratic U.S. Representative Nick Rahall in West Virginia’s 3rd congressional district. On November 2, 2010, Maynard was defeated in his election bid in the second-closest election in Rahall’s political history.
After switching his party affiliation to Republican, Maynard officially filed candidacy papers on February 1, 2010 to run for the U.S. House in the 3rd District of West Virginia. He won the party primary with 30 % of the vote against three other candidates.
(Some information for this article came from Wikipedia.)
(Kyle Lovern is the Sports Editor for the Williamson Daily News. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 304-235-4242, ext. 33 or on Twitter @KyleLovern.)