Belcher worked on constituent services for Manchin and Tomblin. Tomblin terminated him last summer. After that, Belcher went to work last fall for Democrat Attorney General Darrell McGraw for $35,000. He left McGraw's office to run unsuccessfully this year for the Kanawha County assessor's seat.
Belcher is known as a good field representative and political operative.
Mike Plante, who ran Thompson's unsuccessful gubernatorial campaign last year, said the speaker is focused on his current job.
"He's not focused on anything but running for re-election and running for speaker again at this point," Plante said.
Thompson and House Health and Human Resources Chairman Don Perdue, both D-Wayne, share a two-member House district and have one opponent this fall, Republican challenger Randy Tomblin.
Ironically enough, that House race will feature a Thompson, Perdue and Tomblin - just as the 2011 Democratic primary featured Thompson, (Treasurer John) Perdue and (Gov. Earl Ray) Tomblin.
If Thompson wins re-election, he will have to secure support from his caucus to maintain his leadership of the House, but there's been no indication he'll be challenged.
Among the other raises: Mick Bailey will go from $46,052 to $48,500; Tracy Campbell from $41,138 to $42,500; House Clerk Greg Gray from $ 91,591 to $93,091; Bo Hoover from $52,302 to $53,802; Will Laird from $43,376 to $45,000; Anne Landgrebe from $36,844 to $42,500; David Mohr from $79,735 to $81,735; Melanie Pagliaro from $40,698 to $43,000; Brian Skinner from $73,755 to $75,255; Brenda Thompson from $87,164 to $91,500; Martha White from $29,926 to $31,926; and Jason Williams from $53,842 to $55,500.