Likewise, Kessler reappointed all major committee chairmen in the Senate, including Sens. Corey Palumbo, D-Kanawha, as judiciary chairman; Roman Prezioso, D-Marion, finance chairman; Robert Plymale, D-Wayne, education chairman; Herb Snyder, D-Jefferson, government organization chairman; and Ron Stollings, D-Boone, health and human resources chairman.
"The members of my leadership team continue to prove that they are capable and hardworking," Kessler said Monday.
There also will be a new speaker pro tempore, Delegate Randy Swartzmiller, D-Hancock, and a new president pro tempore, Sen. Larry Edgell, D-Wetzel. Though largely ceremonial positions, the appointments are significant because the pro tems serve on the powerful rules committees in the House and Senate.
The previous speaker pro tem, Ron Fragale, lost his re-election bid, while previous President Pro Tem Joe Minard was elected Senate clerk on Jan. 9, succeeding Darrell Holmes, who retired after 23 years in that office.
In the House, other important chairmanships remained unchanged, with Education Chairwoman Mary Poling, D-Barbour; Health and Human Resources Chairman Don Perdue, D-Wayne, and Government Organization Chairman Jim Morgan, D-Cabell, reappointed.
However, Thompson named school administrator and third-term Delegate Josh Stowers, D-Lincoln, as vice chairman of education; and seven-term Delegate David Perry, D-Fayette, as vice chairman of health and human resources.
The previous education vice chairman, Delegate Brady Paxton, D-Putnam, moves over to become chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, while the previous health and human resources vice chairwoman, Bobbie Hatfield, was defeated in the November election.
Also, the majority leaders in both houses will remain unchanged in 2013, with Sen. John Unger, D-Berkeley, and Delegate Brent Boggs, D-Braxton, retaining those titles.
Reach Phil Kabler at ph...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1220.