W.Va. candidate financing provision up in air

CHARLESTON (AP) — West Virginia election officials are unsure about part of the state’s public financing pilot program for Supreme Court candidates.

The State Election Commission voted 2-1 Thursday to postpone deciding whether the program can provide additional money known as rescue funds.

The pilot program offers public funds in response to concerns about the influence of contributions. Rescue funds are meant to aid participating candidates when they’re being outspent.

But a U.S. Supreme Court ruling struck down Arizona’s version of rescue funding. That prompted a federal judge to rule last month against a rescue funding provision in North Carolina’s program for judicial candidates.

Allen Loughry is the West Virginia program’s only participant. The Republican candidate argued that neither ruling affects the state’s rescue funding. He urged the commission to decide the question.

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