W.Va. legislative power swings south

An editorial from The Exponent Telegram 

CLARKSBURG, W.Va. — After November’s historic election, which saw Republicans sweep to power in the state Legislature for the first time in 80 years, changes are to be expected.

Those changes began over the weekend, as the two respective parties chose their “candidates” for key leadership positions. “Candidates” is a misnomer actually, since it would take a monumental flip by majority party members to not have Republicans in charge of the House and Senate come January.

In the House, it will be Tim Armstead, R-Kanawha, replacing Tim Miley, D-Harrison, as speaker.

The new Senate president will be Bill Cole, R-Mercer, who will replace Jeff Kessler, D-Marshall.

Besides party affiliation, the Legislature’s new leadership sports a trait that is a bit disconcerting: There is no one from North Central West Virginia among the majority leadership teams.

In the House, Republicans chose Daryl Cowles, R-Morgan, to serve as majority leader, Carol Miller, R-Cabell, as assistant majority leader, John O’Neal, R-Raleigh, as majority whip, and Bill Anderson, R-Wood, as speaker pro tem, according to the Charleston Daily Mail.

In the Senate, Mitch Carmichael, R-Jackson, will serve as majority leader, Donna Boley, R-Pleasants, will be president pro tem, and Daniel Hall, R-Wyoming, will serve as majority whip.

While those expected to be in leadership positions have said they will represent the entire state, the North Central West Virginia area has lost key power brokers in Miley and former House majority whip, Mike Caputo, D-Marion…

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