Virginia lawmakers OK McCullough for Supreme Court justice

Court of Appeals Judge Stephen R. McCullough is seen during an interview for an appointment to the Virginia Supreme Court in the House Courts of Justice committee at the Capitol on March 9. (Photo: Bob Brown/Associated Press)

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia lawmakers have approved elevating Court of Appeals Judge Stephen McCullough to the state Supreme Court.

McCullough’s election Thursday ends a bitter months-long political battle over the vacant high court seat that has infuriated Gov. Terry McAuliffe and Democratic lawmakers.

Republican leaders initially sought to put Court of Appeals Judge Rossie Alston on the bench after rejecting McAuliffe’s selection for the high court. The governor and Democrats wanted to elect Justice Jane Marum Roush, but Republicans failed to get enough support for Alston and put McCullough’s nomination forward Wednesday.

Several Democrats said while they believe McCullough is qualified, they couldn’t support his nomination because of the way the situation was handled.

McAuliffe said Thursday that he’s “disgusted by the whole process” and accused Republicans of treating Roush “like dirt.”

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