CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - West Virginia's House of Delegates faces a momentous decision once Speaker Rick Thompson departs for Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin's Cabinet.
Choosing a new leader will help set the stage for 2014, when Republicans aim to wipe out the Democrats' ebbing majority. The prospects have Minority Leader Tim Armstead looking at ways delegates might end up electing a GOP speaker.
The Kanawha County Republican's chances rely on peeling away just a handful of Democrats. But that failed to happen during close votes this session, as Armstead hoped it might.
Several top members of Thompson's leadership team seek to succeed him. But Thompson himself was an outsider when he first won the speakership.
The House's choice of speaker will also affect Tomblin's ability to advance his legislative priorities.
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