CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The West Virginia House of Delegate’s Clerk’s office has received a resignation letter from Delegate Jason Harshbarger, R-Ritchie, announcing his planned resignation.
House Communications Director Jared Hunt issued the following statement on the process to replace a delegate:
For those who have not been through this process before. Here is the applicable state code regarding filling of vacancies in the House of Delegates:
(a) Any vacancy in the office of state senator or member of the House of Delegates shall be filled by appointment by the Governor, from a list of three legally qualified persons submitted by the party executive committee of the same political party with which the person holding the office immediately preceding the vacancy was affiliated at the time the vacancy occurred. The list of qualified persons to fill the vacancy shall be submitted to the Governor within 15 days after the vacancy occurs and the Governor shall duly make his or her appointment to fill the vacancy from the list of legally qualified persons within five days after the list is received. If the list is not submitted to the Governor within the 15-day period, the Governor shall appoint within five days thereafter a legally qualified person of the same political party with which the person holding the office immediately preceding the vacancy was affiliated at the time the vacancy occurred.
(b) In the case of a member of the House of Delegates, the list shall be submitted by the party executive committee of the delegate district in which the vacating member resided at the time of his or her election or appointment. The appointment to fill a vacancy in the House of Delegates is for the unexpired term.
Under that code, the party executive committee of the 7th Delegate District, which covers portions of Pleasants and Ritchie County, will have 15 days beginning Aug. 30 to submit names for nomination to the Governor. The Governor will have five days from the receipt of those names – note: 5 days from receipt, which can be before that 15-day window ends – to make the appointment.
Under that timeline, we would expect to have a new delegate in place by the next round of interim meetings, which begin Sept. 23.
West Virginia House of Delegates
State Capitol, Building 1, Room 240