26th Judicial Circuit Court Judge Kurt Hall administers the oath of office to Upshur County Magistrate Mark Davis Wednesday. / Photos by Monica Zalaznik

Newly minted magistrates reflect on what they’ve learned as they take oaths of office

BUCKHANNON – Two Upshur County Magistrates who were appointed in January 2021 were officially sworn in Wednesday in the wake of county voters electing them in May.

Mark Davis and Alan Suder were both sworn in on June 15 after being elected during the May 2022 Primary to fill the unexpired terms of former magistrates Mike Coffman and Kay Hurst, respectively, both of whom resigned in early 2021.

26th Judicial Circuit Court Judge Jacob Reger administers the oath of office to Upshur County Magistrate Alan Suder in the Upshur County Circuit Courtroom Wednesday afternoon.

Davis was appointed after Coffman stepped down in January 2021 to accept the position of chief deputy for the Upshur County Sheriff’s Office, and soon after, Suder was appointed in February 2021 after Hurst resigned from her position. Both magistrates had to run for their predecessor’s unexpired terms, which don’t end until 2024. That means if they would like to retain their office for a full term, they will have to run again in the 2024 election.

Both newly minted magistrates said they’ve enjoyed their positions so far and are grateful to Upshur County residents for their vote of confidence.

“It’s really good to have the confidence of the people, the county and to be able to serve, and this swearing-in today is a special day for me,” Davis said after 26th Judicial Circuit Court Judge Kurt Hall administered the oath of office. “I love the position and have really enjoyed it during the time that I was appointed; it’s a great honor to be able to continue to serve the people here and do my best for them.”

Davis said he has learned a lot about the job since his previous appointment, and he plans to continue to educate himself about the job.

“There’s been a lot of things that you have to have your eyes open to – how to look at things from different points of view,” he said. “You have to look at what the law says and how it applies in different situations, but it’s been an eye-opener. It’s a learning experience; I’m always learning and always wanting to learn. I just appreciate the opportunity the community has given me and the confidence they have put in me to do this job, and I will do the job to the very best of my ability as a citizen of this county.”

Upshur County Magistrate Alan Suder, who has previously served on the Upshur County Board of Education, said winning the magisterial election was a humbling experience.

“I want to thank the voters and the community for believing in me, and now I have a job and a duty to do the best that I can to help the citizens of Upshur County,” Suder said. “I love the job. I love helping my community and I love helping people.”

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