Poling appointed to chair House committee

PARKERSBURG – A delegate from Wood County was appointed to his first chairmanship of a committee in the West Virginia House of Delegates.

Delegate Dan Poling, a Democrat, will be chairman of Energy Industry and Labor in the Energy, Industry and Labor-Economic Development and Small Business Committee. He succeeds Larry Barker, a Democrat from Boone County, who did not win re-election in November for a fifth term.

The appointment and other committee assignments were announced on Tuesday by House Speaker Rick Thompson

“I think this shows the speaker has confidence in my abilities to bring people together, especially on that committee,” Poling said.

Poling was appointed to the committee two years ago.

He was appointed to the Legislature in 2006 to succeed J.D. Beane, who resigned to become a circuit judge in Wood County.

Poling is the only Democrat from Wood County in the Legislature.

The committee, a minor panel in the power hierarchy of the House, has two components, energy, industry and labor and economic development and small business, Poling said. Delegate Doug Skaff Jr., D-Kanawha, is the chairman of Economic Development and Small Business.

“Those are where the job creating bills go,” Poling said.

Other local committee appointments were:

* Delegate Tom Azinger, R-Wood: member, Government Organization; minority chairman, Banking; minority chairman, Veterans Affairs;

* Delegate John Ellem, R-Wood: minority chairman; member, Natural Resources; member, Constitutional Revision;

* Delegate Bill Anderson, R-Wood: member, Rules; member, Natural Resources; member, Agriculture; minority chairman, Finance; member, Constitutional Revision.

* Delegate Anna Border, R-Wood: minority chairman, Government Organization; member, Health; member, Agriculture; member, Senior Citizen Issues.

* Delegate Woody Ireland, R-Ritchie: member, Judiciary; member Agriculture; member, Veterans Affairs and Homeland Security; minority vice chairman, Natural Resources;

* Delegate Steve Westfall, R-Jackson: member, Education; member, Banking and Insurance; member, Senior Citizen Issues.

* Delegate Roger Romine, R-Tyler: member, Government Organization; member, Agriculture; member, Natural Resources; minority vice chairman, Constitutional Revision.

* Delegate Bob Ashley, R-Roane: member, Finance; minority chairman, Homeland Security; minority chairman, Insurance; member, Senior Citizen Issues; member, Rules.

* Delegate Randy Swarztmiller, D-Hancock, has been appointed speaker pro tempore. He also will be on the House Rules Committee.

Four of the five major committees will have new vice chairman, Thompson said.

Delegate Doug Reynolds, D-Cabell, has been appointed vice chairman of the House Finance Committee. Delegate Tim Manchin, D-Marion, has been appointed vice chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. Delegate Josh Stowers, D-Lincoln, was appointed vice chairman of the House Education Committee. Delegate David Perry, D-Fayette, is the new vice chairman of the House Health Committee.

Delegates taking on new chairmanships of other standing committees include Delegate Brady Paxton, D-Putnam, of the Committee on Homeland Security, Mark Hunt, D-Kanawha, of Political Subdivisions, Nancy Guthrie, D-Kanawha, of the Insurance Committee, David Walker, D-Clay, of the Agriculture Committee, and Kevin Craig, D-Cabell, of the Natural Resources Committee.

“Having worked closely with House Minority Leader Tim Armstead, I am confident that these committees are well balanced and will be very productive,” Thompson said.