By Mannix Porterfield
Judiciary chairman Tim Miley was elected speaker of the West Virginia House of Delegates Tuesday in a strictly party line vote over Tim Armstead. Miley collected 53 votes and Armstead, D-Kanawha, 44. Three delegates were absent.
Before the showdown, Miley said he would be fair and open with the entire membership and that he would not pick his leadership team for at least another week.
The Harrison County delegate succeeds Rick Thompson, D-Wayne, who was named to the Cabinet level post of Secretary of the Department of Veterans Assistance.
Miley pledged to work with the Republican caucus.
"We will have disagreements without being disagreeable," he said.
In his role as speaker, Miley said he will focus on education, infrastructure, high speed internet access and natural resources.