CHARLES TOWN — Former Circuit Court Judge Debra McLaughlin, now working as an assistant prosecutor in Jefferson County, is a candidate for the vacancy that will be created with Judge Christopher Wilkes’ retirement.
Family court judge David A. Camilletti of Charles Town is another candidate for the job as is Anthony Delligatti, Wilkes’s son-in-law and the husband of Berkeley County Prosecutor Catie Wilkes Delligatti.
Wilkes’ retirement takes effect Thursday, the same day that interviews for the job are scheduled in Morgantown, according to the governor’s office.
Camilletti, a family court judge in the Panhandle since 2015, holds a bachelor’s degree in history from West Virginia University and also earned his law degree at the Morgantown school.
The 62-year-old was a candidate last year in the race to serve out the rest of Judge Gray Silver III’s eight-year term as a 23rd Judicial Circuit judge.
R. Steven Redding, the Martinsburg attorney appointed to the job by Gov. Jim Justice four months before the election, ended up finishing ahead in the three-county race.
The deadline to apply to replace Wilkes came Jan. 18.
Anthony Delligatti formerly worked at Skinner Law Firm in Charles Town and now is an associate with the Charleston-based firm Pullin, Fowler, Flanagan, Brown & Poe.
Born in Fairmont, he earned a sociology degree from WVU before completing a law degree there in 2013. He also holds a master’s degree in criminal justice from Temple University and a master’s in political science from WVU.
In mid-2017, Justice selected McLaughlin, a Virginia native who’d been serving as the elected prosecutor for Morgan County for 15 years, to replace Judge John Yoder.
He’d died at age 66 on June 9, 2017, a few weeks after heart surgery.
In the spring of 2018, McLaughlin, now 51, lost her bid to stay on the bench when more voters backed David Hammer in the nonpartisan race. Later that year, she joined Prosecutor Matt Harvey’s office in Charles Town.
Now Justice is set to again to appoint a judge to hear cases in Jefferson, Berkeley and Morgan counties.
Other candidates for the appointment: Richard Stephens, a Berkeley County magistrate, and lawyers Nick Colvin, Christine Glover, Stephen Groh and Joseph Kinser.
Colvin and Glover both ran for a 23rd Circuit vacancy in last spring’s election.
Wilkes had sought a Supreme Court seat in November’s statewide election but lost to Tim Armstead, who’d been appointed as an interim justice in the fall.
Wilkes finished third overall with 66,037 votes statewide and was the top vote-getter in Jefferson County, with 10,859.
Wilkes, who has served as a circuit judge since 1993, won re-election in 2000, 2008 and 2016.
He announced his plans to retire in a letter dated Dec. 20. “It has been an honor and a privilege to serve as judge of our circuit for the past 26 years,” he wrote.
Candidates for Wilkes’ job must be 30 or older and state residents for five years or more. They also must have been admitted to practice law in West Virginia for at least a decade.