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Former court justice, politician hospitalized

By Dave Boucher, Capitol Bureau Chief

A former state Supreme Court chief justice and Republican congressional candidate is in the surgical intensive care unit at Charleston Area Medical Center’s Memorial Hospital.

Elliott “Spike” Maynard is in “satisfactory” condition at the Kanawha City hospital, said a hospital representative. The representative couldn’t elaborate on Maynard’s health issues or how long he’d been in the hospital.

CAMC Memorial is known for its heart programs, according to the hospital’s website. It’s also home to a cancer center, a diabetes center and other medical services.

Attempts to reach Maynard’s family members were unsuccessful.

Maynard was elected to the state Supreme Court in 1996 as a Democrat. He remained on the bench for the entire 12-year term, serving as chief justice for a time.

In 2008 he faced criticism for voting in favor of a decision that benefited coal tycoon Don Blankenship after pictures surfaced of the pair vacationing together in the French Riviera in 2006. The 3-2 vote vindicated Massey Energy, where Blankenship was an executive at the time, from a more than $50 million verdict.

Maynard decided to not partake when the court eventually reconsidered the case.

“I will recuse myself despite the fact I have no doubt in my own mind and firmly believe I have been and would be fair and impartial in this case. I know that for a certainty,” Maynard said at the time, according to Daily Mail archives.

Maynard lost his bid for re-election to the high court later that year.

He later officially switched his political affiliation to Republican in order to challenge Rep. Nick Rahall, D-W.Va., for his seat in Congress in 2010.

While Maynard eventually won the GOP nomination, he lost to the longtime congressman by a 56 percent to 44 percent margin.

Current GOP party chairman Conrad Lucas ran against Maynard in the primary in 2010. Thursday Lucas said the two became friends during the campaign and he has plenty of respect for the former justice.

“We look forward to him being back on his feet, as certainly there is no more colorful individual in West Virginia politics than Spike Maynard,” Lucas said.

Contact writer Dave Boucher at 304-348-4843 or david.boucher@dailymailwv.com. Follow him at www.Twitter.com/Dave_Boucher1.


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