CHARLESTON, W.Va. — State lawmaker Brandon Steele, once a candidate for House Speaker, announced Thursday he won’t be running for reelection to the legislature next year.
Instead Steele, an attorney, announced he’ll run for circuit judge in Raleigh County.
Steele, R-Raleigh, said when he first ran for the House in 2018 he believed three terms would be enough.
“It’s been an incredible honor to be a part of that,” Steele said Thursday on WJLS Radio. “I’ve had an opportunity during these six years to get to meet and know a lot of people I’d never would have been able to have met. I’ve gotten to be their voice.”
Steele said the legal community has changed in Raleigh County on a few different levels and he wants to serve and make a difference.
“This is the community I grew up in. We’ve been incredibly blessed in Raleigh County to have great judges and it’s a great example to follow,” Steele said. “I’m looking forward to a new challenge. I will do it the same way I did my time in the legislature, by doing the will of the people as much as I can and by upholding the rule of law in Raleigh County.”
Steele said Raleigh County has one of the fifth busiest circuits in the state.
Judicial elections are non-partisan and take place during the May Primary Election. The winners will take office in January 2025.
Steele was the chair of the House Government Organization Committee under House Speaker Roger Hanshaw but was not reappointed to that position after challenging Hanshaw in the speaker’s race after the 2022 general election.
“I believe our progress is stalled under the current leadership and a new direction and a new focus is necessary,” Steele said in August 2022 when he launched his speaker campaign.
His efforts fell short.
Steele’s current term runs through next year and he said Thursday he plans on finishing it.
WJLS Radio in Beckley contributed to this story.