CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Being a state senator wasn’t on her radar, but when Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin called her Friday, Sue Cline stepped up.
Senator Cline took her spot in the Senate’s second row Monday. Cline was appointed Friday to fill the 9th District vacancy left by Daniel Hall, who resigned earlier this month.
Hall’s abrupt pre-session resignation opened the curtain for some political theater. He was elected as a Democrat in 2012, but switched parties in 2014, tipping the balance of power to the Republican Party for the first time in more than 80 years.
The State Democratic Party filed a writ of mandamus with the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals to force Tomblin to appoint a Democrat, since that’s what Hall was when he was elected. Tomblin, saying the law was ambiguous, announced he would appoint a Democrat unless the court instructed him to do otherwise Republicans answered that writ with their interpretation of the law.
After hearing oral arguments last Tuesday, the high court ruled Friday that the law was not ambiguous and Tomblin had to replace Hall with a Republican.
Cline was one of three names submitted to the governor by the 9th District Senate Republican Executive Committee. For her, it was a bit of a whirlwind…