WHEELING - David Sims gets sworn in as 1st Judicial Circuit judge Friday, but local Democratic Party leaders say no one has applied yet to take his spot as a candidate for Ohio County commission on the November ballot.
Interested residents have until 5 p.m. July 5 to submit an application to the Ohio County Democratic Party. Eligible candidates must be Democrats living in the 2nd Magisterial District of Ohio County.
The investiture ceremony for Sims, meanwhile, is set for 1 p.m. Friday in the second-floor courtroom of the City-County Building, 1500 Chapline St., in downtown Wheeling. The event is open to the public.
West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin last month appointed Sims, a Wheeling attorney, to the spot on the bench left vacant following the retirement of Judge Arthur Recht.
Sims was first elected Ohio County commissioner in 1994 and was on the ballot seeking re-election this year.
Following his appointment as judge, Sims resigned as commissioner and announced he would withdraw his bid for re-election in November.
The West Virginia Elections Commission last week gave approval to the Ohio County Democratic Party to appoint another candidate to fill Sims' spot on the ballot.
But Robert J. "Rocky" Fitzsimmons, co-chairman of the Ohio County Democratic Party, said Tuesday that he has yet to receive any applications from anyone wanting to seek the open county commission spot.
The stumbling block for most interested in the job is that they must live in the 2nd Magisterial District, he noted.
"That's why it's such an interesting process," Fitzsimmons said. "Geography plays an important part."
The 2nd Magisterial District includes the following voting precincts, and registered Democrats living in these areas would be eligible to run for county commissioner this year: Precinct 16, the Par Three course at Oglebay Park; Precinct 20, North Park Head Start; Precinct 24, Riverview Towers; Precinct 28, the City-County Building; Precinct 31, the Ohio County Schools Operation Center; Precinct 36, Booker T. Washington Plaza; Precinct 60; the Community of Christ Church; Precinct 69, Madison Elementary School; Precinct 77, Luau Manor; Precincts 113 and 115, Woodsdale Elementary School; Precinct 116, St. Johns Social Room; Precinct 120, Poplar Avenue Fire House; Precinct 124, Christ United Methodist Church; and Precinct 125, Triadelphia Middle School.
The commissioner's job pays $36,960 annually, and a commissioner's term is for six years.
Prospective candidates should mail or hand deliver their written request and any additional materials to Fitzsimmons at the Fitzsimmons Law Offices, 1609 Warwood Ave., Wheeling before 5 p.m. July 5.
Sims, 51, was selected as judge over seven other candidates who applied for the elected post - Ohio County Prosecutor Scott Smith, former U.S. Attorney Betsy Steinfeld-Jividen, federal public defender Brendan S. Leary, Family Court Judge William Sinclair and lawyers William Cipriani, William Galloway and Thomas C. McCarthy Jr.
Sims is expected to seek election to the unexpired term as judge when it goes before voters in 2014.