CHARLESTON, W.Va. — House Speaker Tim Armstead, who is not running for re-election, bid farewell to his fellow delegates on the final night of the regular legislative session, speaking emotionally of the honor of having served.

Armstead described first coming to the Capitol for a Golden Horseshoe ceremony and being awed. He then described the honor of having served in the Legislature over the years, including what he described as an unexpected time as Speaker.

HIs fellow delegates stood to applaud. And Minority Leader Tim Miley, who preceded Armstead as Speaker, asked that his remarks be preserved for posterity.

Armstead is considering a run for the state Supreme Court in 2020. He announced just a couple of weeks into this session that it would be his last.

Armstead, 53, of Elkview became the first Republican Speaker of the House of Delegates in 84 years when the GOP took over that chamber in 2014.

He was first elected to the House in 1998.

Armstead was House minority leader from 2007 to 2014. He spent many of those years pushing for elimination of the food tax. His prop was a can of pork and beans with a penny taped on top. Armstead held it up at a ceremony in 2013 when the food tax was officially eliminated.

Armstead earned his bachelors degree in political science and history from the University of Charleston in 1987. He earned his law degree from West Virginia University College of Law in 1990.

He spent most of his recent career as a lawyer for NiSource Corporate Services Company, starting in 2001. He was working for Columbia Pipeline Group in 2016, but was laid off in September when TransCanada bought the company and eliminated the West Virginia legal division.

His Clendenin home was also flooded during the statewide flooding of 2016.

Many delegates are calling an end to their time in the house, some to run for other offices.

Among those who were recognized on Saturday night was Delegate John Overington, R-Berkeley, who has had the longest continuous service at 34 years.

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