Steven Davis sworn in as interim Wise County and Norton Commonwealth's Attorney

Circuit Court Judge Ron Elkins swears in Steven Davis as the interim Wise County and Norton commonwealth’s attorney on Wednesday as Davis’ wife, Julie, and daughter, Amelia, stand with him. Davis succeeds Chuck Slemp III, who has been named chief deputy attorney general.

WISE — Steven Davis stepped into the Wise County and Norton commonwealth’s attorney post in front of family, friends and colleagues Wednesday.

“It’s always a pleasure to swear in a public official,” Wise County Circuit Court Judge Ron Elkins said as he administered the oath of office to Davis as Davis’ wife, Julie, and daughter, Amelia, stood by him.

Davis succeeds Chuck Slemp III, who served as commonwealth’s attorney since 2016 before being appointed a week ago to serve as chief deputy attorney general under Virginia Attorney General-elect Jason Miyares.

About 20 staffers, local attorneys and law enforcement officers gave Davis applause after the oath.

“Steve and I stood here almost exactly six years ago to be sworn in,” Slemp said as he congratulated Davis. “There is probably no one more deserving of this job and no one I feel better about being in it.”

Davis, a UVA Wise and Appalachian School of Law graduate and former magistrate, recalled how he became an intern in the commonwealth’s attorney’s office in 2010 when Elkins was then the chief prosecutor.

“I didn’t start out seeking this post. Today is day one of earning this job, and I’m going to earn the job and prove I’m qualified.”

Both Slemp and Davis said they had confidence in the commonwealth’s attorney’s staff and prosecutors.

“While our work continues without interruption,” Davis later said, “it is my desire to win the Republican nomination so that I may continue to serve the people of this community as commonwealth’s attorney with the same passion and dedication as I have for the last six years.”

Davis is one of two people seeking the GOP nod for a yet-to-be-called special election to determine who will fill Slemp’s term through the end of 2023. Brett Hall, who also worked for Slemp as an assistant prosecutor before going into private practice, announced his intent to run for the post Jan. 3, the same day Slemp announced his resignation and Davis announced his candidacy.

Wise County Sheriff Grant Kilgore, Norton Sheriff Jason McConnell and Slemp all have endorsed Davis.

The Wise County Board of Supervisors is expected to discuss Thursday whether to ask the 30th Judicial Circuit to order a special election for the commonwealth’s attorney’s post.

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