With all wards counted, JoAnne Kloppenberg leads David Prosser by 204 votes, and has consequently claimed victory. There will be a recount, and of course – since in the wingnut universe no liberal ever wins an election honestly – John Fund is already screaming “Fraud!”
The election led some conservatives, including Ann Althouse, to discover that electing judges, and politicizing the judiciary, can have bad consequences. As far as I’ve seen, none of them complained when Massey Energy bought the West Virginia Supreme Court, or indeed when the Wisconsin right wing successfully purged a liberal justice in 2008 to switch the court from 4-3 liberal to 4-3 conservative. The court is so faction-ridden that a judicial discipline complaint about the conservative who displaced the former liberal justice – a little matter of lying in campaign ads – split the remaining justices 3-3.
Note to Republicans: if you don’t like a politicized judiciary, try not appointing career partisan politicians to judgeships; Prosser used to be the Republican leader of the state legislature. Oh, yes, and you might consider not stealing Presidential elections.