CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The state Senate elected Lee Cassis as the new Senate clerk in a unanimous vote that came during a floor session Monday at the state capitol.
Cassis has been working at the capitol since 2002, the last six-and-a-half years as assistant clerk of the Senate. Cassis has been the voice of the Senate for about that long. He’s the one that reads the title of the bills, the proposed amendments and vote totals during Senate floor sessions.
Senate President Mitch Carmichael (R-Jackson) appointed Cassis clerk effective Jan. 6. He was nominated and elected Monday. Senator Corey Palumbo (D-Kanawha) officially nominated Cassis during a floor speech.
“Everyone knows Lee Cassis as a professional, diligent, affable and non-partisan member of the staff here in the Senate. Nobody knows more about the operations and responsibilities of the clerk’s office than Lee Cassis does,” Palumbo said.
Senator Ryan Weld (R-Brooke) seconded the nomination and Senate Minority Leader Roman Prezioso (D-Marion) moved that nominations be closed.
Cassis replaces Clark Barnes who decided to step down from the clerk’s job. Barnes was a former state senator and in past years it has been former senators that have been chosen to be clerk. For many years when Democrats had the majority it was a senator with many years of service to get the position.
Palumbo said there have been good clerks in the past but he predicted with Cassis “there will be a new standard set.”
“There’s no one who’s more knowledgeable, more well-trained or prepared to serve as the clerk of the Senate than Lee Cassis is,” Palumbo said.
Cassis is a graduate of West Virginia University.