PARKERSBURG - The House of Delegates will convene in special session at noon today to choose a new speaker.
Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin Monday issued the proclamation for the session to choose the successor to Rick Thompson, who was appointed secretary of Veterans Assistance by the governor.
The leading contender for speaker is Delegate Tim Miley, D-Harrison. Miley is chairman of the House Judiciary Committee.
Delegate Harry Keith White, D-Mingo, who also sought the leadership post, on Friday threw his support to Miley.
Delegate Dan Poling, D-Wood, said he knows Miley well and believes he will do a good job.
''He works and tries to bring people together,'' Poling said.
Poling said Miley is also good about listening to the different concerns any number of issues can bring and tries to find the best way to address them.
''He is very open and very intelligent,'' Poling said.
Larry Puccio, chairman of the Democratic Party of West Virginia, praised House Democrats in coming together to pick the right person.
"I commend our Democratic House of Delegates for taking the time to fully review two highly qualified individuals for Speaker,'' Puccio said. ''Chairmen Harry Keith White and Tim Miley should be applauded for coming together so that House Democrats can stand united."
"Tim Miley is a responsible leader who will bring innovative and valuable ideas to the House to move West Virginia forward."
Democrats have 54 seats in the House, a majority of only eight to the Republicans. The Republican nominee will be Minority Leader Tim Armstead.
Officials have expected the vote to follow party lines.
Poling does not think there will be any issues in Miley securing the position.
''He has got the votes,'' Poling said. ''There is no doubt that he will be elected.''