Former Supreme Court Justice Dies

CHARLESTON – Former West Virginia Supreme Court Justice Elliott Spike Maynard died Thursday, several sources reported.

Maynard, 71, had been hospitalized for nearly a month for an unspecified issue with his lungs. He had been on a ventilator, according to people familiar with Maynard.

As a Democrat, Maynard was elected to the state’s highest court for a 12-year term in 1996. Prior to that, he was a circuit court judge for 15 years.

Maynard became a Republican in 2010 to run for Congress in the state’s 3rd District. His bid against incumbent Nick Rahall failed.

West Virginia GOP?chairman Conrad Lucas called Maynard “a champion of the conservative cause.”

“Several years ago, Spike took a political risk to join the Republican Party and quickly became part of our team. There is no doubt he paved the way for others to follow in his footsteps,” he said.