Justice Appoints Hardesty to West Virginia School Board | News, Sports, Jobs


Paul Hardesty is sworn in for his appointment to the State Board of Education while his wife Debby holds the Bible. (Photo courtesy of WV Legislative Photography)

CHARLESTON – Governor Jim Justice on Monday announced the appointment of longtime lobbyist and former State Senator Paul Hardesty to a recently vacant seat on the West Virginia Board of Education.

Hardesty, who was for a time an elected member of the Logan County Board of Education, replaces Arthur “Stan” Maynard who resigned last week.

Hardesty will serve the remainder of Maynard’s tenure, which began last year and ends on November 5, 2029.

“I have known Paul and respected his tremendous abilities for a long, long time and I’m sure he will do a great job for the people of West Virginia in this important role,” Justice said Monday morning in a statement.

Hardesty was recently an appointed Democratic member of the West Virginia Senate, although the judge’s letter of appointment indicated Hardesty was an Independent. Hardesty served the 7th Senate District, which includes Logan, Boone and Lincoln counties and parts of Wayne and Mingo counties.

Hardesty replaced former Logan County Senator Richard Ojeda in 2019, who campaigned unsuccessfully for the 3rd Congressional District in 2018 and made a brief attempt to run for President of the United States in the primary Democrat of 2020 shortly after his resignation, to drop out. Ojeda also failed the Democratic nomination for the U.S. Senate in 2020, losing to Paula Jean Swearengin.

Instead of running for a full four-year term for the seat, Hardesty decided not to run for office. Voters in Logan and Boone County elected Rupie Phillips, a former member of the Democratic House of Delegates who went independent while still in the House and then went to Republican.

Prior to his appointment to the Senate, Hardesty was a member of the Logan County Board of Education for 25 years. He served as chairman of the board from 2016 until his Senate appointment in 2019. With Hardesty’s appointment to the education board, eight of the nine members have been appointed by the judiciary since entry. according to the governor in 2017.

Hardesty was a lobbyist, notably for companies owned by Justice. According to Hardesty’s most recent lobbyist report of November 30, 2018, Hardesty represented the companies James C. Justice, Greenbrier Resort and Southern Coal Corp. Hardesty quit lobbying after his Senate appointment and was banned from resuming lobbying for a year. after the end of his term by state law.

Former clients included Alliance Coal LLC; Alpha Natural Resources Services; Altria LLC Customer Services; American electric power; Power of the Appalachians; Blackhawk Mining LLC; Brickstreet Mutual Insurance Co.; Coal River Energy LLC; West Virginia Entrepreneurs Association; Contura Energy; Coronado Coal LLC; CVS / Caremark; Hatfield McCoy Regional Recreation Authority; Lexington Coal; LKQ Corp. ; Markwest Energy Partners; MedExpress Urgent Care Inc.-West Virginia; Mission Coal Co.; Morpho Trust; National Commission for the Certification of Physician Assistants; LP Natural Resource Partners; Northwood Health Systems; Peerless Block Co.; Pepsico; Petroplus properties; Republic Services Inc .; West Virginia Retailers Association; West Virginia Sheriffs Association; Thrasher Engineering; Tyler Mountain Water Co.; and WW Grainger Inc.

Steven Allen Adams can be contacted at [email protected]

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