Republican members of the West Virginia House of Delegates have decided on Del. Roger Hanshaw as their nominee for Speaker.
The majority party caucused for four and a half hours Tuesday night to decide who is likely to succeed former Speaker Tim Armstead, who resigned from the House last week before being appointed to an interim seat on the state Supreme Court.
Hanshaw was first elected to the House in 2014 and represents the chamber’s 33rd District, which covers parts of Clay, Calhoun and Gilmer Counties.
He has held the position of chair of the Committe on Enrolled Bills and vice chair of the Committees on the Judiciary, Agriculture and Natural Resources, among other appointments.
Members of the House GOP caucus confirmed that Hanshaw beat out Dels. Eric Nelson, Jim Butler and Marty Gearheart over the course of casting three secret ballots. The final ballot gave Hanshaw an edge over Nelson with a 32-30 vote, according to multiple sources.
Hanshaw is an attorney with the firm Bowles, Rice and also holds a Ph.D. in chemistry. He is a certified professional parliamentarian.
With Republicans currently holding 65 seats in the 100-person body, Hanshaw is expected to be elected as Speaker and preside over the chamber following a Wednesday vote with the Democrats.
Former Speaker Armstead’s vacant seat in the House’s 40th District has yet to be filled by an appointment from Gov. Jim Justice. Like all 100 seats in the House, that seat is up for election in the November midterms.
Hanshaw is likely to face House Minority Leader Tim Miley in the final race for Speaker.
The entire chamber will meet at 9 a.m. Wednesday to decide the next presiding officer.