West Virginia GOP Senate Candidate Jim Justice Facing Financial, Legal Woes

Republican West Virginia Governor Jim Justice is a likely shoo-in to replace outgoing Democratic Senator Joe Manchin in one of the easiest Senate flips for the GOP.

Much like the ex-president, the Trump-endorsed aw-shuckster businessman-turned-politician has been pursued in court for years by banks, governments, business partners and former employees for millions of dollars in unmet obligations.

Now, Justice, 73, may be seeing some of those chickens coming home to roost as the math in potential multimillion-dollar judgments may not add up to “winning.”

Justice took over the family coal business in 1993, and added acquisitions in agriculture and high-end hospitality, taking on monumental debts and a reputation for not paying them.

A bank in neighboring Virginia that has served the Justice family for decades has begun the process of collecting on more than $300 million in defaulted loans. Some of the family business’s prized assets, chief among them the 246-year-old Greenbrier resort, are in the bank’s sights, and collections on the governor’s personal bank accounts and even his house are now a possibility. Efforts have already been underway in Virginia to seize properties belonging to Mr. Justice’s son, James C. Justice III, the president of the family companies.


Greenbrier resort is appraised at well over half a billion dollars, has hosted Republican congressional retreats, pro football training camps and big-money golf tournaments, including one for LIV Golf, the league created by Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund.

Greenbrier resort

Carter Bank and Trust, a regional bank based in southern Virginia, had lent to the Justice family businesses to the tune of $775 million. After the Justice companies had been paying down those loans, in April they defaulted on those loans with $302 million remaining.

In crisis mode, the family turned around and sued Carter Bank in federal court, for what they called “unfair and coercive tactics that made it impossible to pay off the loans.”

Another Trumpian trait: Blame the children.

When asked about the growing mound of business troubles, Mr. Justice has repeatedly said that the daily operations of his companies are overseen by his children, and that he is focused on his duties as governor.


NYT, Politico