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Few leadership changes for W.Va. Legislature

Jan. 21, 2013 @ 04:01 PM

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — West Virginia’s Legislature is heading toward this year’s session with few changes among its top leadership teams.

House Speaker Rick Thompson on Monday named Delegate Randy Swarztmiller of Hancock County as speaker pro tempore. Thompson is otherwise keeping his floor and major committee chairs.

Senate President Jeff Kessler has chosen Sen. William Laird of Fayette County as that chamber’s majority whip. Sen. Larry Edgell of Wetzel County is the new president pro tempore. Kessler’s team is otherwise staying in place.

The changes reflect departures from the Legislature. Democrats remain the majority in both chambers, but Republicans now hold 46 of 100 House seats.

There were 35 GOP delegates before the election. The gains give Republicans greater shares of committees, including 11 of 25 seats on both House Finance and Judiciary.