CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Gov. Joe Manchin today announced that he has selected John Shott of Bluefield to be appointed to the 10th District West Virginia State Senate seat left open by the recent passing of Sen. Don Caruth of Mercer County. Shott will serve until a successor is selected during a special election, which will take place this November.
In a letter received May 14, the 10th Senatorial District Republican Executive Committee submitted three names to the governor: John H. Shott, Duane Miller and Jack David Woodrum. The governor commended the committee for submitting the names swiftly so this process can move toward completion.
"Don was a good friend and an excellent legislator who we will miss. I have spoken to Sen. Caruth’s widow, Laura, and actually offered her this position, but she kindly refused. We discussed this appointment and I want to thank her for her input on behalf of the Caruth family. I have selected John Shott to fill this senate seat, because accordingly to Laura, John knew and understood Sen. Don Caruth and his work. As a current delegate, John understands the legislative process and can get to work quickly for the people of the 10th senatorial district.”
By state code, the governor must fill the vacant seat with a person who resides in the same senatorial district and has the same political party affiliation as his/her predecessor.
In a letter that Laura Caruth wrote to the governor, she states: “Don had the utmost respect for John Shott both as a legislator and as an attorney. I am sure Don would have approved of his seat in the Senate being designated to him.”
John Shott noted, “It is both an honor and a challenge to be selected to serve in place of my friend, Don Caruth, as a member of the Senate. Don was an exceptional person who tirelessly and effectively served the citizens of the 10th Senatorial District. The manner in which Don served will be my model, and I am totally committed to providing the same high quality representation that characterized Don’s service. I am grateful to the members of the Republican Senatorial Committee for including my name among the three names submitted to the governor and to Gov. Manchin for entrusting me to fill Don’s seat in the Senate.”
Shott is expected to resign from the House of Delegates to be appointed to this senate seat. The governor will await three names from the 24th House District Republican Executive Committee and he will make a selection to determine who will fill the remainder of Shott’s House seat.
Sara Payne Scarbro