UPDATE: (3:15 P.M. May 5, 2022) – West Virginia Secretary of State has issued an order requiring county clerks in Clay, Jackson, Kanawha, Putnam and Roane counties to post a sign on the door of all polling places, including early voting locations stating that Andrea Kiessling is not eligible for the State Senate District 8 office and that votes cast for her will not be counted.
The signs are to go up immedately, the order from Warner’s office states.
Kiessling released a video statement on her candidate Facebook page last night with the caption: “Statement from today’s ruling. Summary: It’s not over yet.”
In the video, Kiessling said in part: “This is too important. I have worked too hard and too many people have helped and supported me to back down now. Of course I am disappointed by the ruling today. Our next step is an emergency appeal to the Supreme Court.”
CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – After being deemed ineligible to run for the State Senate by a judge in Kanawha County, Andrea Kiessling and her counsel have filed an emergency motion for a temporary stay of the court’s order in the case.
Should the stay be granted, this means the decision handed down by Judge Louis H. Bloom on Wednesday, May 5, would be temporarily suspended. The motion was filed due to Kiessling’s intent to file an appeal in the case.
According to court documents, Kiessling’s counsel filed the motion for the stay due to the “eleventh-hour” filing of the lawsuit from Kanawha County voter Alicia Stine that requested an emergency writ of mandamus to have Kiessling removed from the ballot.
Kiessling has also filed a motion for expedited consideration of the motion of the stay.
On May 4, Judge Louis H. Bloom ordered Secretary of State Mac Warner to withdraw his certification of candidacy of Andrea Kiessling, declaring her ineligible to run for the West Virginia State Senate.
Court proceedings began, Tuesday, May 3, just one week before West Virginia’s primary election after a Kanawha County voter sued to get Andrea Kiessling removed from the May 10 Republican ballot for State Senate District 8 over questions about her West Virginia citizenship.ADVERTISINGWV Senate candidate fights claims she’s not a ‘citizen’
Mac Warner, secretary of state, and Patrick Morrissey, attorney general are also named in the lawsuit with Kiessling.
The concerns began when one of Kiessling’s opponents, Joshua Higginbotham, made a claim that she claims has not lived in West Virginia for the necessary five years prior to filing. Kiessling has said that she she has worked and voted in North Carolina over the past few years. But she maintains that she is a citizen of West Virginia.
The State Constitution requires that a candidate for office in West Virginia must be a citizen of the state for five years prior to filing for office.
13 News received documents showing that Kiessling lived and voted in North Carolina for most of the past 10 years, even though she says she visited family often in the Mountain State. In court Tuesday, Kiessling said she has filed income tax returns in West Virginia for the past two years, and had filed in North Carolina before then.
“I split my time in that I spent relatively the same amount of time in both states,” Kiessling said in court Tuesday.
Early voting is already underway, meaning Kiessling’s name is already on the ballot and she may have already received votes. Senate District 8 includes Roane and Clay counties as well as portions of Kanawha, Putnam and Jackson counties. The county clerks will have to notify voters of Kiessling’s ineligibility because her name is on the ballot.
“It just means we’ll have some work we’ve got to have done. We’ll have to put signs out in all of the precincts that are involved in this ruling,” said Kanawha County Clerk Vera McCormick. “And we’ll have to do that. There’s 61 precincts.”
WOWK 13 News reached out to Kiessling and her campaign advisor about whether they will appeal the ruling to the West Virginia Supreme Court, but we have not heard back at this time.
A spokesperson for Secretary of State Mac Warner said today the secretary and all election workers will comply with Judge Bloom’s order to disqualify Kiessling’s candidacy.