West Virginia House of Delegates

Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

In a historic first day to the 82nd Legislative Session, Republicans are now the majority in the House, and Republican Delegate, Tim Armstead was elected as House Speaker.

Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

  West Virginia lawmakers have begun a 60-day legislative session with Republicans in power for the first time in more than eight decades.

The Senate and House of Delegates gaveled in shortly after noon Wednesday.

As expected, Republican Bill Cole of Mercer County was elected Senate president. Republican Tim Armstead of Kanawha County was chosen as House speaker.

Steve Harrison / LinkedIn

  A former West Virginia lawmaker is being tapped to become the 22nd clerk of the House of Delegates.

In January, Steve Harrison is set to replace Greg Gray. Gray has been House clerk since 1996 and is the third-longest serving House clerk in state history.

Harrison served in the House from 1993-2002 and served one term in the Senate from 2003-06.

West Virginia Legislature

  Republican lawmakers have chosen a new West Virginia Senate president and House of Delegates speaker.

The West Virginia Republican Party says Mercer County Sen. Bill Cole was named as Senate president and lieutenant governor during a caucus of GOP senators on Sunday. House Republicans named Kanawha County Delegate Tim Armstead as House speaker during their caucus.

In January, Republicans will hold majorities in both the House and the Senate for the first time in eight decades following the November general election.

After a landslide victory on Tuesday, Saira Blair, an 18-year-old fiscal conservative, will become West Virginia's youngest lawmaker.

Blair earned 63 percent of the vote, winning a seat on the West Virginia House of Delegates.

In a statement on her campaign's Facebook page, Blair said her election sent a message that the road to "prosperity and success is rooted in conservative values and principles."

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