WHEELING, W.Va. — Ohio County state Delegate Ryan Ferns said his vote Tuesday against fellow Democrat and new House Speaker Tim Miley was a protest vote.

Ferns believed that certain outside special-interest groups were going too far to sway votes.

“What I believed were excessive bullying tactics,” he said on Wednesday’s MetroNews “Talkline.”

Ferns was the only Democrat, outside of Miley himself, to vote against Miley.

Ferns said he has no problem with special interest groups endorsing certain candidates, but don’t bully and in some cases threaten delegates.

“I wasn’t going to stand by and be a part of that type of action for a speakers election,” said Ferns.

House Delegates elected Miley, D-Harrison, Tuesday on a 53-44 near partisan vote to replace former speaker Rick Thompson, who resigned to take a position in the Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin’s administration.

Ferns said he told Miley before the vote what he was planning to do and that the move cast no reflection on Miley as a person.

“I have the utmost respect for Tim and the years that I’ve worked with him, I find him to be a very reasonable, approachable person,” said Ferns. “I think he’ll do a fine job as speaker.”

Ferns said previous speakers’ races were often handled internally by the members of the House, without extra influence from external groups. He said that’s the way it should be.

When asked on “Talkline” to identify the special-interest groups he was chastising, Ferns declined.

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  • Carmen

    Not news, and the WVEA, WV Trial Lawyers, and AFL-CIO death grip continues on this down trodden hopeless State of the status quo. And we celebrate our independence from Virginia?

    • tiredintucker

      What about the "death grip" the coal industry and big business has on our hopeless state of the status quo? Over the past several years the legislature has given tax breaks to big business in the name of economic growth. What has happened? The state does not have enough money to do the things it needs to do.

  • DWM

    A liberal plaintiff attorney politician got named speaker of the house in WV.

    In other news...

  • Mark

    He is truly naieve if he doesn't understand the importance and influence of special interests on all sides in the election for Speaker. If he can't stand the pressure from special interest groups on this or any other isssue, he needs to find other work.

  • standing by

    No excuse, cause the same thing was going on on the other side. grow up that is politics

  • Jake

    The spoiled brat has never gotten his "grown up pants". Maybe some day he'll quit pouting, kicking, and holding his breath when he doesn't get his way and grow up.

    It's sad but I guess when you were never told "no" what else should we expect.

    • We_Need_More_Bums

      Indeed, Miley needs to grow up.

      • liberty4all

        Confused.... Can you explain? Not sure where that is coming from as it relates to this story (and others concerning the speaker election where Miley was quoted as saying he would go about earning Ferns' respect).

  • liberty4all

    His tweet from the floor is not consistent with the reasons he states for his vote. He tweeted "wv first, party second" which would imply his vote was for Del. Armstead as the better candidate. He is certainly entitled to his opinions and to vote how he sees fit. Just pointing out the inconsistency.