State Democrats chose a new leader on Sunday. Democrat Rick Thompson is expected to be the next speaker of the House of Delegates when it reconvenes in January.
House democrats chose the Wayne County delegate as their nominee in a closed door session.
For the first time in a decade, West Virginia's House of Delegates will have a new speaker. Wayne County Democrat Rick Thompson is expected to take over the position from Raleigh County Democrat Bob Kiss, who is leaving the legislature this year.
Thompson says he wants to mend the divide in the house.
“I want to do everything I can to unite the democrats and unite the House and make the best House of Delegates possible,” said Thompson.
Thompson was first elected to the legislature in 1980 and House democrats say they're looking forward to Thompson as the speaker.
Who becomes the speaker of the house is not just important to the delegates. Lobbyists and labor representatives felt they had a lot riding on the decision.
Thompson will have to face off against the republican nominee for speaker in January, but with a democrat house majority, Thompson is expected to win.
Delegate Harry Keith White is expected to be Thompson's finance chair. Thompson says he hasn't thought about who he is going to pick for the other committees just yet.