There are still weeks to go until a new House Speaker will be selected.
But some supporters of House Judiciary Committee Chairman Tim Miley say they think they now have the more than 30 votes it will take to put the Harrison County delegate in that role.
“The West Virginia Moderate Coalition, a group that gathered together, has decided to support Tim Miley for his race for Speaker of the House,” Raleigh County Delegate Ricky Moye said on Wednesday’s MetroNews “Talkline.”
Delegate Moye says the Moderate Coalition is made up of himself, Fayette County Delegate Margaret Anne Staggers, Webster County Delegate Dana Lynch, Fayette County Delegate David Perry, Fayette County Delegate John Pino and Lewis County Delegate Margaret Donaldson Smith.
On Wednesday, all six announced they will vote for Delegate Miley, which could potentially take his House vote total to more than 30 delegate votes.
“We were considering what we thought was best for the state of West Virginia and for the constituents we represent. It wasn’t about us,” Delegate Moye said of the decision.
At last count, House Finance Committee Chairman Harry Keith White from Mingo County, the other Democrat Speaker candidate, had 25 votes.
State Chamber of Commerce President Steve Roberts says there is still plenty of time for the vote count among Democrats to change over and over again.
“Each side will declare victory numerous times. There probably will be shifts because, in the end, a whole lot of people want to be on the winning side,” Roberts said on Wednesday’s MetroNews “Talkline.”
Roberts says the Chamber is not making an official endorsement. “That’s an internal matter for the elected members of the House to resolve,” he said. “Having said that, we have a long tradition of having worked with Finance Committee Chairman Harry Keith White.”
West Virginia Education Association President Dale Lee says his organization is backing Delegate Miley. “The deciding factor for us was Delegate Miley’s fairness, his thoughtfulness, his compassion and his demeanor, the way that he handles things,” Lee said.
Delegate White is working with Kanawha County Delegate Doug Skaff.
Delegate Miley has the support of House Majority Leader Brent Boggs, House Majority Whip Mike Caputo and Wayne County Delegate Don Perdue.
There are 54 Democrats in the House of Delegates and 46 Republicans. If there is no agreement on a Speaker among Democrats, a Republican could potentially have enough support to claim the leadership role if the decision is made on the House floor.
A new Speaker will likely be selected in early July following the official resignation of current House Speaker Rick Thompson who is resigning to become the next Secretary of the Department of Veterans Assistance.