CHARLESTON, W.Va. — With just over a month until the regular session for the legislature in West Virginia, those who will have a major impact on the proceedings have been put in place.


Newly nominated House Speaker Tim Armstead addressed GOP members of the House Sunday.

On Sunday, a caucus of the 64 Republican members of the West Virginia House of Delegates chose Del. Tim Armstead (R-Kanawha) as the next House of Delegates speaker.

The unanimous nomination behind closed doors will become official when the regular session of the legislature begins next month and an official vote between Armstead and the Democrat’s nomination Tim Miley (D-Harrison) is taken in the House to begin the session.

Armstead was honored by the nomination and is happy to be working with the members of the new majority.

“It’s hard to put into words,” he said. “I’m so excited about the opportunities that we have to make our state better. This group of 64 members loves this state. They are willing to roll up their sleeves and work hard. There’s so many things that we can do to make this state better.”

The selection was lauded by all the Republican delegates in attendance as well as representatives from the state GOP.

“Today is a day to celebrate, as we elevate an honorable public servant to lead this body,” said West Virginia Republican Party Chairman Conrad Lucas in a news release. “Delegate Armstead has been a fine leader for our Minority. Today, he and our team begin a new era to reset West Virginia for future prosperity.”

Appointments to some of the major leadership positions were solidified during the caucus as well, including:

Majority Leader: Daryl Cowles (R-Morgan)

Assistant Majority Leader: Carol Miller (R-Cabell)

Majority Whip: John O’Neal (R-Raleigh)

Speaker Pro Tem: Bill Anderson (R-Wood)

Finance Chair: Eric Nelson (R-Kanawha)

Judiciary Chair: John Shott (R-Mercer)

Education Chair: Amanda Pasdon (R-Monongalia)

Government Organization Chair: Gary Howell (R-Mineral)

Health Chair: Joe Ellington (R-Mercer)

Energy (Upgraded to a Major Committee) Chair: Woody Ireland (R-Ritchie)

With this team assembled and more leadership roles to be assigned in the future, Armstead said they are excited for January to come.

“We kinda joked a little bit about the word ‘excitement,’ how much we’ve used it since November 4,” he said. “There are a lot of other words, but I think that one really sums it up. There’s energy, excitement and a willingness to get to work, an eagerness to get to work.”

Steve Harrison was nominated to be the new clerk in the House. This position will also be voted on when the session begins.

Later, Republican members of the state Senate, which hold an 18-16 edge, choose Mercer County Senator Bill Cole as the new Senate president in a mid-afternoon caucus.

“I was honored with the nomination to be the next Senate president,” he said.


Newly nominated Senate President Bill Cole speaks to the Republican caucus

Senators also were appointed some of the major leadership roles:

Majority Leader: Mitch Carmichael (R-Jackson)

President Pro Tem: Donna Boley (R-Pleasants)

Majority WHIP: Daniel Hall (R-Wyoming)

Finance Chair: Mike Hall (R-Putnam)

Judiciary Chair: Charlie Trump (R-Morgan)

Education Chair: Dave Sypolt (R-Preston)

Health and Human Resources Chair: Ryan Ferns (R-Ohio)

Energy, Industry and Mining (upgraded to major committee): Jeff Mullins (R-Raleigh)

Government Organization Chair: Craig Blair (R-Berkeley)

Senator Clark Barnes (R-Randolph) was nominated to serve as the the Senate Clerk. This means Gov. Tomblin must now appoint a replacement to fill the vacancy, choosing from a list submitted by the 15th District Republican Executive Committee.

Now, Cole said, the focus can turn onto how making their ideas –more jobs, in particular– for the state become a reality. He admits it will not be easy.

“While the other guys have had 83 years to do it, I’m sure that we’re going to be tested during the two years,” he said. “I fully expect that. I think that’s fair. If we don’t deliver and deliver measurably, then maybe we should maybe reconsider what we’re doing as well.”

Republicans will have control of both legislative chambers for the first time since the 1930s. Democrats chose their minority leaders Saturday.

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  • Voter

    Happy Happy Happy.

  • Philly

    Looking forward to some GOP leadership. GOP controlled states around the country have embraced their existing toll roads and reduced tax burdens on their citizens and stimulated their economies. Studies have shown that leveraging the WV Turnpike is the best means to generate the necessary funding needed to rescue WV from it's crumbling infrastructure and from being last in everything else. I'm sure our GOP will follow suit..

  • rick

    With these guys now in charge of the Legislature I am starting to get the same feeling I get when the baby picks up the hammer.

  • JTC

    If this legislature focuses on jobs, infrastructure and educational improvements, I will sit back and take note, if it is all about religion, abortion and gay marriage then let the 2016 campaigns begin.

  • wvu999

    It was a good two year experiment.
    Enjoy it while it lasts... The island of misfit toys.

    I'm super excited for an 18 year old girl to make laws and policies that effect 1.8 million people.

    I think they should reach out to Keith Russell Judd as a consultant. Yeah, he won over 40% of the vote against Obama, too. Never mind pesky facts like he was incarcerated in Texas at the time he received those votes, and made WV the laughingstock of the country on every major news station.


    • Aaron

      "...Keith Russell Judd as a consultant. Yeah, he won over 40% of the vote against Obama, too."

      Of the DEMOCRATIC vote. The election you reference was the primary thus those casting their ballots for a convicted felon were Democrats.

    • ViennaGuy

      - I'm super excited for an 18 year old girl to make laws and policies that effect 1.8 million people. -

      She is but one of 134 people in the Legislature, and she's at the bottom of the totem pole in terms of seniority. From the way you talk, one would think she's a one-woman dictatorship.

      Grow up.

  • TLC

    Fresh start with new ideas. This state sure can use that.

  • St. Jimmy

    "Armstead chosen as House speaker, Cole selected as Senate president in GOP caucus" - You misspelled circus in the headline.

  • More Of The Same

    Who really cares. Maybe ISIS will do us a favor and wipe the House and Senate off the map. Please!!!!!!!

  • bill

    A car salesman as senate president, I hope all those WV democratic voters turned Republicans are happy. Have u every heard this guy talk, all I can say is "wow"!

    • Levelheaded

      It's doing that matters not talking. We've heard all the talk over the years. And yes, it was your Democrat brothers and sisters that elected these Republicans. Think about it.

    • Aaron

      As opposed to the lawyer who passed out how many flawed bills that required clean up after the session, who knew there were budget shortfalls before the session began yet still had to raid the rainy day fund and who failed to address infrastructure in at all?

      And you're complaining about a car salesman why?

    • Happie Mountie

      "Have u every heard this guy talk." Do you see the irony in your statement? You want to criticize someone else's speech with that butchered sentence?

      I'd much rather have a car salesman representing me than another self-serving attorney or liberal college professor.

      The people spoke, how about letting the process play out before you begin slinging mud?

      • wvu999

        The majority leader is an attorney...

    • Melvin Meade

      People who work in the automotive business know how to negotiate.... isn't that what legislators are supposed to do..... for the betterment of the people.... good ole boy politics don't cut it...."deal" with it Bill...