Circuit Court Judge Tera Salango has denied a petition to remove Ken Reed from the June 9, 2020 Republican primary ballot.
“I do believe that Mr. Reed has established his domicile 11438 Martinsburg Road (in the 59th House of Delegates district) and his intent to remain at that residence,” Judge Salango ruled at the end of an hour and forty minute telephonic hearing from Charleston, West Virginia. “Perhaps more importantly, this court cannot issue this writ because there is another remedy available and that is the statutory remedy (to remove a candidate after the primary) and there was a delay in filing this petition for this writ. There was a delay of three months after. I’m going to deny this emergency petition.”
During the hearing, Reed was asked by his attorney, J. Mark Adkins, a partner at Bowles & Rice in Charleston, West Virginia, whether Reed lived in the 59th district house.
“Yes,” Reed said.
His attorney asked Reed whether he still lives in the larger house in the 58th district, whether he sleeps there.
“No, not anymore,” Reed said. “It’s an excellent house for six people — it had a pool. But as my kids started growing, we don’t need the house anymore. It’s too big.”
Reed said that he had planned on selling the larger house in the 58th district to his son — but he’s not sure his son wants such a large house.
Reed said he and his wife live in the much smaller house in the 59th district near the Berkeley County line in part because it is 15 minutes from each of his Reed Pharmacy locations — in Berkeley Springs, Hedgesville, Hancock and Martinsburg — except for the one in Berryville, Virginia.
Reed said that his political opponents “for some reason they think I’m too hoity toity to live in a small house.”
“I grew up in the northern panhandle and lived in a small house forever,” Reed said.
In papers filed with the court, Reed’s attorney Adkins said that Reed’s wife moved to the smaller house in the 59th District in October 2017 and Reed joined her at that house in June 2019.
“Mr. Reed initially split time between the family’s two homes to allow for his daughter to finish her junior year of high school at her current school,” Adkins wrote. “But he joined his wife full time at 11348 Martinsburg Road near the close of the 2018-2019 school year and has been residing primarily at that residence ever since.”
Reed has filed a counterclaim against Howard Stone, the resident of the 59th district who filed the petition against Reed and West Virginia Secretary of State Mac Warner. The counterclaim charges “malicious prosecution, abuse of process and conspiracy.”
Judge Salango asked that Stone’s attorney Patrick Lane answer that counterclaim within 20 days.