James Conley Justice II (born April 27, 1951) is an American coal mining and agriculture businessman and politician serving as the 36th governor of West Virginia since 2017. With a net worth of around $1.9 billion, he is the wealthiest person in West Virginia. He inherited a coal mining business from his father and built a business empire with over 94 companies, including the Greenbrier, a luxury resort.
In 2015, Justice announced his candidacy for governor in the 2016 West Virginia gubernatorial election. Although Justice was a registered Republican before running for governor, he ran as a Democrat and defeated the Republican nominee, Bill Cole. Less than seven months after taking office, Justice switched back to the Republican Party after announcing his plans at a rally with U.S. president Donald Trump in the state.
James Conley Justice II was born in Charleston, the son of James Conley Justice and Edna Ruth (née Perry) Justice. Justice grew up in Raleigh County, West Virginia. He enrolled at the University of Tennessee on an athletic scholarship for golf, but transferred to Marshall University. At Marshall, he was a two-year captain on the Thundering Herd golf team. He earned his bachelor's degree and Master in Business Administration from Marshall.