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.

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  • standing by

    Will Majority Whip Mike Caputo, yell out this time if he loses the race for Del. Tim Miley, for speaker!
    "You Missed it" "You Missed it"

    • Tina B

      Now that was a dumb post.

  • Coach

    Yes Miley is an outstanding guy. He is honest to a fault which is unheard of in politics. Miley will be next Speaker. The coalition announced by the other side brings White nobody he didn't already have. Skaff brings nothing to the table at all for White. There are some that say White is a lock, let me assure you he is not. Tim Miley will have more votes when it is counted and he will be what's best for WV.

    • Ax Man

      Coach, Miley is honest?????? at what??????????? Dennis, Miley has done a great job, bringing the state forward, but he is going in the wrong direction, we are still 49th.

    • Protechcpa

      People like you are why we remain at the bottom of everything in this country.

  • Dennis

    Miley will bring the ENTIRE state forward. He's a great guy andus a remarkable person. I don't know white, but I check credentials before I make a secession. Yes I am fro Harrison County, and believe me you can't go wrong with Tim....

  • thornton

    I'd vote for Miley....otherwise, Billy Ray would have an achy-breaky heart.

  • Ax Man

    It doesn't make any difference, one Dem. is as bad as any other Dem., we have eighty years to prove it. But we will get one thing out of it, we will remain, 49th or 50th, until we accept another state, them we can look forward to being 51st.

    • liberty4all

      And it's all the fault of our politicians versus our own citizenry? The sooner we as a population quit looking to government as the solution the better we will be.

      It would be no different under Republicans, they would just sell their soul for corporate interests (you know, no welfare except corporate giveaways, personal responsibility except for corporations, who shouldn't be held responsible for anything, etc . . .). You're right, it would be different if the Dems weren't in power. It would be different special interest money buying influence.

  • mtnr

    I hope Miley loses this. That guy and the rest of Harrison County has some sort of fixation on slowing Mon County.

    • Luke

      So you want to leave control of the purse strings in the House to the guys from Mingo and Kanawha Counties? Smart thinking there Sherlock.

    • liberty4all

      I've posted my beliefs against the TIF elsewhere so will spare you. As a fellow resident, I think your sadly mistaken if you think anyone has a fixation on Mon County other than some of our own residents. Contrary to what you and others might think, the rest of the state does not revolve around us. Nice community, nothing special, and certainly not the object of envy that so many of us think it is.

  • MyView

    Is this the best of the WV House, GOD help us. Mr. White as Finance Chair numerous times has diverted money away from the education system that has put many local school boards and counties into financial ruins. Mr. Miley is a "Joe Blow" Manchin wanna be disciple.

  • JK

    I think the first thing White should do is explain how he can throw away 60 million dollars ready to be given for economic development.

  • Tina B

    Ben -- Chill, it was lighthearted.

  • Protechcpa

    I hope it is White. If Miley takes over we will have little hope of ever shedding ourselves of him in Harrison County.

    • Tina B

      Well you've done a great job of 'shedding' him thus far as it is, huh?

    • JJ

      How will he ever find time to chase ambulances if he becomes Speaker? As a Harrison Countian, I'd go with (neither, preferably) White.

  • Ben

    @ Tina B, no offense, but your criteria for supporting a political candidate is what's wrong with WV politics. Voters should at least make a reasonable effort to stay apprised of what the candidates stand for, this is not asking to much. Also, your comment only serves to reinforce the negative bias accorded to our state by others...just saying.

  • Tina B

    Not knowing either of them, I would choose the guy with the red tie. He has a better look to him.

    Shallow, I know, but if I have to look at them, I might as well be happy about it.