If Skaff were selected, that table would include four younger delegates and four experienced delegates in leadership positions, he said. He would like to have a member of the less experienced faction to serve as either majority leader or majority whip. The other position then would go to an experienced delegate.
Majority Leader Brent Boggs, D-Braxton, is also running for speaker. Of the people who have openly expressed interest in the spot, Skaff said Boggs is the only one who hasn't personally called him. Speaker Pro Tempore Randy Swartzmiller, D-Hancock, spoke with Skaff on Boggs' behalf, Skaff said.
Skaff said if he becomes speaker, there could be another role for Boggs in leadership. He said he respects White and House Judiciary Chairman Tim Miley; he said he would "immediately want them on my team."
Skaff suggested leaving them in their current positions, implying leadership changes for other major committees.
Last week, Miley said he, too, was interested in becoming speaker. Majority Whip Mike Caputo, D-Marion, and Health Committee Chairman Don Perdue, D-Wayne, also have said they would like to vie for the spot.
It's crucial for the next leadership team to include cooperation between experienced and new delegates, White said. He's confident he could bring many of those experienced delegates to a coalition with Skaff's younger members.
In mentioning "young guns," Skaff specifically referenced Delegates Josh Stowers, D-Lincoln; Tiffany Lawrence, D-Jefferson; and Doug Reynolds, D-Wayne. Stowers is the vice chairman of the education committee, Lawrence is an assistant majority whip and Reynolds is vice chairman of the finance committee.
White said it was too early to officially count the number of votes he had, and he didn't mention any delegates other than Skaff by name.
"I've been through this before, you've got to work it all the way to the ends," White said. "You can't assume you've got anybody."
Both White and Skaff said there's still plenty of work to be done before the race is over.
Thompson, D-Wayne, is expected to resign in mid June. After his resignation, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin has 10 days to call a special session. The Democrat and Republican parties will meet in private caucus sessions to nominate their choices for speaker.
The delegate with a majority of the House's 100 votes will be the next speaker.
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