Speaker of the West Virginia House of Delegates, Rick Thompson, will resign from the House of Delegates and from the office of Speaker of the House to accept an appointment by Governor Tomblin to the position of Cabinet Secretary for the West Virginia Department of Veterans Assistance.
Pursuant to West Virginia law, the Governor will issue a proclamation following the Speaker’s resignation to convene a special session within ten days so the members of the House of Delegates may select a new presiding officer. In addition to the Speaker’s race, Governor Tomblin will appoint a new Delegate to represent the citizens of the 19th Delegate District, which consists of a portion of Wayne County, West Virginia.
Given the current composition of the House of Delegates, it is expected that the next Speaker will be a consensus builder who is able to work with both political parties, will have the support of both business and labor, and who will work to create jobs and improve the business climate in West Virginia. Kurt Dettinger and Gil White, members of Steptoe & Johnson PLLC’s Government Relations practice group, will be closely monitoring the transition of leadership in the West Virginia House of Delegates over the coming weeks.