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West Virginia governor appoints chief of staff's wife to open judge's position

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West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice on Wednesday appointed the wife of his chief of staff to a vacant judge's position.

Stephanie Abraham was picked to fill a Kanawha County circuit judge opening following the retirement of Judge Duke Bloom, whose term expires in December 2024. Abraham is the wife of Brian Abraham, Justice's chief of staff.

Abraham is the legal counsel for the state Board of Education. She also was a law clerk for the state Supreme Court and taught business law at the Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College. Abraham graduated from Syracuse University in 2000 and has a law degree from the University of Maryland in Baltimore.

"We're not going to penalize a great candidate and somebody that's as qualified as she is just because she's a hard worker and the wife of my chief of staff," Justice said during a media briefing Wednesday. "There is no possibility we're going to penalize this great girl. Her career speaks for itself, and she is a great woman that has done great work. And she'll continue to do exactly that."

A news release later issued by the governor's office on the appointment did not mention Brian Abraham by name.

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