House of Delegates Finance Committee Chairman Harry Keith White says it’s going to take youth and experience moving forward in the House. White announced on MetroNews Talkline Monday he’s an official candidate for the House speaker’s job.
“I’ve served under five governors, two finance chairs and three speakers—so if I’m not ready now I never will be,” White said.
The speaker’s job is open because current House Speaker Rick Thompson announced last week his resignation to take a position in the Tomblin administration.
Del. White, a Mingo County banker and Vietnam combat veteran, says he doesn’t believe he should be the next speaker because it’s “his turn.” Instead, White believes an experience-youth coalition is what the majority of House members want.
“I think our members want to see some discussion, debate, enthusiasm and we’ve got to move this party forward. We’ve got to have a young blend with the older experience and I think that gives us a good coalition,” White said.
The delegate heavily mentioned Kanawha County Del. Doug Skaff as the leader of the “young guns” and hinted toward a possible coalition with Skaff in the speaker’s race.
“I’m just a strong believer in experience, in youth, in enthusiasm and put all of that together and it just makes a great team going forward,” White said.
House Majority Leader Brent Boggs has also officially announced his candidacy for speaker. Delegates Tim Miley, Mike Caputo and Don Perdue have also shown interest. The governor will likely call House members into session in late-June to make their choice.
Del. White was first appointed to the House of Delegates in 1992, won the election later that year and has been reelected 10 times.