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W.Va. Senate leadership lineup taking shape

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — West Virginia Senate leaders confirmed a list of possible committee chairmanships Monday, but said details of the appointments were still being determined.

Sen. Bill Cole, R-Mercer, who is expected to be elected Senate president in January, confirmed the unofficial list. The appointments will be made Jan. 14, the first day of the 2015 session. This marks the first time state Republicans will have control of both the Senate and the House.

“We’ve tried to get the best people into the right committees. That has to do both with their qualifications and their desires,” Cole said. “If you can get someone on a committee who is genuinely interested in what that committee does, it certainly helps.”

Cole said he believes the selections are “90 percent there, but there are still some details to work out. It’s still subject to change.”

The unofficial list of Senate committee chairmanships is:

* Majority Leader: Mitch Carmichael (R-Jackson).

* Finance: Mike Hall (R-Putnam), chair. Chris Walters (R-Kanawha), vice-chair.

* Judiciary: Charlie Trump (R-Morgan), chair. Vice-chair not yet appointed.

* Education: Dave Sypolt (R-Preston), chair. Donna Boley (R-Pleasants), vice-chair.

* Banking and Insurance: David Nohe (R-Wood), chair. Ed Gaunch (R-Kanawha), vice-chair.

* Energy, Industry and Mining: Jeff Mullins (R-Raleigh), chair. David Nohe (R-Wood), vice-chair.

* Confirmations: Donna Boley (R-Pleasants), chair. Jeff Mullins (R-Raleigh), vice-chair.

* Military: Kent Leonhardt (R-Monongalia), chair. Donna Boley (R-Pleasants), vice-chair.

* Government Organization: Craig Blair (R-Berkeley), chair. David Nohe (R-Wood), vice-chair.

* Agriculture and Rural Development: Daniel Hall (R-Wyoming), chair. Charlie Trump (R-Morgan), vice-chair.

* Economic Development: Tom Takubo (R-Kanawha), chair. Charlie Trump (R-Morgan), vice-chair.

* Enrolled Bills: Mark Maynard (R-Wayne), chair. Ryan Ferns (R-Ohio), vice-chair.

* Health and Human Resources: Ryan Ferns (R-Ohio), chair. Tom Takubo (R-Kanawha), vice-chair.

* Interstate Cooperation: Ed Gaunch (R-Kanawha), chair. Robert Karnes (R-Upshur), vice-chair.

* Labor: Daniel Hall (R-Wyoming), chair. Ryan Ferns (R-Ohio), vice-chair.

* Natural Resources: Robert Karnes (R-Upshur), chair. Mark Maynard (R-Wayne), vice-chair.

* Pensions: Ed Gaunch (R-Kanawha), chair. Vice-chair not yet appointed.

* Rules: Bill Cole (R-Mercer), chair. No vice-chair.

* Transportation and Infrastructure: Chris Walters (R-Kanawha), chair. Kent Leonhardt (R-Monongalia), vice-chair.

Del. Tim Armstead, R-Kanawha, who likely will be named speaker of the House of Delegates in January, said while officials are working on committee chairmanships for the House, they have not yet released a list of possible appointments.

“We’re working through that and we are close to releasing a first round,” he said. “I want to make sure I get it to my members first before it is released to the public.”

Armstead said the process for the House is slightly more complex than for the Senate. Though both have 15 committees, the Senate has 18 Republicans, while the House has 64.

“It makes it a bit more challenging,” Armstead said, “but we are making good progress.”

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