CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Following Thursday’s news that Rick Thompson will step down as leader of the state House of Delegates, numerous candidates expressed an interest in filling the post.
The early frontrunners for the position appear to be House Majority Leader Brent Boggs, House Finance Committee Chairman Harry Keith White, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Tim Miley and Kanawha County Delegate Doug Skaff.
“Any one of us is more than capable of leading the House and we just need to figure out what’s the best direction for the House of Delegates,” said Miley, a delegate from Harrison County.
Miley admitted he has been considering a run for the state Senate in 2014. Now, he said he’ll look at the possibility of being House Speaker. “I can’t say that I don’t have an interest,” he said.
Boggs, after serving in the House for 17 years, said he’s interested in serving as Speaker as well.
“I believe that I’ve certainly acquired the tools to take on the position, but we have a lot of good, qualified people out here,” Boggs said.
Kanawha County Delegate Doug Skaff said he considered running for the U.S. House of Representatives in the Second District next year, but has now abandoned that idea to focus on being a part of the reworked House leadership team.
“It obviously changes my focus completely,” Skaff said. “I think you’ll hear a lot of people talking, over the next few days. I’m honored to be on that list, to have my name mentioned as a possible replacement for Rick Thompson.”
Thompson will resign on June 15 from the role of House Speaker he has held for seven years to become the state Secretary of Veterans Assistance.
Miley, Boggs and Skaff were guests on Thursday’s MetroNews “Talkline.” Delegate White is scheduled to be a guest on Monday’s MetroNews “Talkline.”
Other Democrats have indicated an interest in being considered for the Speaker’s role as well. House Health and Human Resources Committee Chairman Don Perdue from Wayne County says has what it takes.
“It’s a really tough gig, and I think having to deal with health care issues over the last ‘ObamaCare’ years has honed my ‘cat-herding’ skills to the max,” said Perdue.
Republican leaders in the House said House Minority Leader Tim Armstead or another Republican should be included on the list of possible Speakers, because the 46 Republicans in the House would likely support them.
That’s more votes than the other Democrat Speaker candidates have right now.