Beckley, WV (LOOTPRESS)- Ben Hatfield (R), Beckley Attorney and former assistant prosecutor, has defeated Democrat Incumbent Kristen Keller (D) for Prosecutor of Raleigh County. Keller, a graduate of UC- Berkeley and 37 year veteran of the Raleigh County Prosecutor’s Office, will be vacating the office after her first contested election.
Hatfield, born and raised in Wyoming County, has worked as an attorney in Raleigh County since graduating from the University of Syracuse School of Law. Hatfield resides in the Beaver/Shady Spring area with his wife, Megan, and three children.
Hatfield is a former employee of the Raleigh County Prosecutor’s Office and managed the felony case docket with two other prosecutors for Keller during their tenure. Hatfield reported during the campaign that a handful of prosecutors handled over 750 felony cases while Keller maintained a handful of murder cases, resulting in an inflated jail bill for the County and a delay in justice for defendants and victims alike.
Hatfield has promised to streamline the office and focus on efficiency. It has been reported that Keller does not even use a computer. The result of that is a cost to the County of over $20,000 per year to order books that would ordinarily be available with electronic legal subscriptions that cost less than a few hundred dollars per month.
Hatfield will be inheriting an office that has seen a large amount of turnover in personnel over the last 4 years. It remains to be seen what personnel changes will take place in the office once Hatfield assumes his post.
Lootpress spoke to Hatfield upon news of his win and he said that “I am thankful to God for placing me in this role, to my wife and family for supporting me in this difficult campaign, and the people of Raleigh County for trusting me to do the best job I can to make Raleigh County a safer, healthier, and happier place to raise your family and pursue your goals. I am humbled by this outpouring of support and I look forward to assuming my duties as Prosecutor.”
Hatfield will be sworn in as Prosecutor in January of 2021.