CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Democrats in the state House of Delegates will soon have to choose a side after two camps formed in the race to be the next Speaker.
House Finance Committee chairman Harry Keith White from Mingo County said he wants the job to keep the Mountain State on the right track.
“We’ve come a long way with a lot of the things that we’ve done for the state of West Virginia,” White said Friday on MetroNews “Talkline.”
“We’ve got this state in pretty good shape to be able to be very, very competitive with all of our neighbor states.”
White, who first became a member of the House in the early 1990s, has the support of Kanawha County Delegate Doug Skaff, who was originally on the short list of candidates himself.
Skaff said they’ll be working in the coming weeks to line up wide-ranging support.
“This team is going to be well composed of everyone, whether you’re from a business background, labor background, whether you’re a trial lawyer or you’re a consumer attorney, whether you’re a coal miner or work in the natural gas fields or an educator,” Skaff said.
On the other side is House Judiciary Committee chairman Tim Miley, an attorney from Harrison County who has been a member of the House since 2004.
“I’m looking for people who are serious about moving West Virginia forward without regard to title, but not necessarily looking to disrupt the House of Delegates,” said Miley.
Both House Majority Leader Brent Boggs, House Majority Whip Mike Caputo and Wayne County Delegate Don Perdue, who were originally Speaker candidates, have publicly endorsed Miley.
“There are just a lot of people who are concerned about the upheaval that they foresee among the Democrats in the House and they believe it’s coming at a time that we can least afford it,” Miley said.
“They want stability, but not necessarily status quo and that is what I’m willing to offer.”
Current House Speaker Rick Thompson’s resignation will now reportedly take effect in late June. After seven years in the post, he will begin serving as Secretary of the Department of Veterans Assistance.
A new Speaker could be selected by early July.