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WV Senate Republicans finalize leadership positions

By in Hoppy's Commentary | November 21, 2014 at 12:42AM

West Virginia state Senate Republicans have moved quickly to fill leadership positions.   The November election, combined with a party flip by a Democratic Senator, have given the GOP an 18-16 majority, meaning Republicans will now control the committees.

Here is what sources say are the committee leadership assignments as of today.  They caution, however, that some of these appointments may change:

Senate President: Bill Cole (R-Mercer)

Majority Leader: Mitch Carmichael (R-Jackson)

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

Judiciary: Charlie Trump (R-Morgan), chair.  The vice-chair position has not yet been assigned.  An important note here:  Sen. Clark Barnes (R-Randolph) was in line for the chairmanship, but he’s now expressing interest in the Senate Clerk position.  If he fills that, Governor Tomblin will have to appoint a replacement to fill the vacancy. He would choose from a list submitted by the 15th District Republican Executive Committee.

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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

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

Pensions:  Ed Gaunch (R-Kanawha), chair. Vice-chair is still to be determined.

Rules: Bill Cole (R-Mercer).  Rules does not have a vice-chair.

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

The Republican sources also squashed a rumor that the current Democratic chairs of major committees would be reassigned to other committees.  Reportedly those Dems will be reappointed to those committees, if they wish to serve.

Republicans and Democrats in the Legislature will caucus in Charleston next month to finalize leadership positions. The 2015 regular session begins Jan. 14.

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