MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — A recent candidate in the state Supreme Court election has announced his retirement.

Christopher Wilkes

Berkeley County Circuit Judge Christopher Wilkes sent a letter to Gov. Jim Justice this week announcing his plans to retire Jan. 31.

Wilkes, 62, who is currently in his fourth eight-year term on the bench, said he hopes to continue as a senior status judge along with working in the state’s Business Court system. He serves as chair of that court.

The state Supreme Court announced earlier this week that Wilkes had been named to leadership positions on a pair of subcommittees of the national Business and Corporate Litigation Committee of the American Bar Association Business Law Section. Wilkes and Supreme Court Chief Justice Margaret Workman both announced Friday Wilkes would continue in those roles.

“Judge Wilkes has long been dedicated to building West Virginia’s Business Court Division into a model program,” Workman said in a news release. “His most recent ABA appointments demonstrate that his hard work is paying off with national recognition for him and our judiciary.”

Wilkes picked up 13 percent of the vote in the Supreme Court Division 1 race in the November General Election. He received nearly 66,000 votes.

Gov. Justice will likely use the state Judicial Vacancy Commission to accept applications for Wilkes’ replacement. The 23rd Judicial Circuit covers Berkeley, Jefferson and Morgan counties.

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