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Bill Cole likely to be next W.Va. Senate president

Photo from the Charleston Daily Mail Sen. Bill Cole, R-Mercer
Photo from the Charleston Daily Mail
Sen. Bill Cole, R-Mercer

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Sen. Bill Cole is expected to become the next state Senate president, the Daily Mail has learned.

Senate Minority Whip Clark Barnes, R-Randolph, told the Daily Mail Thursday afternoon that he is supporting Cole, R-Mercer, as president.

“At this particular point, among the senators who are returning, it is unanimous,” he said. Barnes said while he can’t speak for the newly elected Republican senators, the incumbents’ decision to have Cole become president is likely to prevail.

“I feel certain that we will have a great deal of influence on the new senators,” he said.

Both Sen. Mitch Carmichael, R-Jackson, and Sen. Chris Walters, R-Putnam, confirmed Barnes’ statement. Carmichael said, “It is expected that Sen. Cole will be the only candidate at the caucus.”

Carmichael said the Republicans will caucus in December and formally vote for Cole as president. He called Cole a successful businessman who has engaged himself in public service for the benefit of the citizens of West Virginia.

When reached Thursday morning, Cole said it was too early to say who will become the Senate president and that it would even be inappropriate to say who is being discussed for the position. “I wanted to come to Charleston to serve. I’m here to make West Virginia a better place. And I’ll take on whatever responsibility,” Cole said when asked whether he was interested in the job…

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