White suggested some of the union's backers might not be telling the truth, however.
"We've still got people calling us . . . we've had to tell labor we're for them, but in a secret ballot you'll get our vote. We'll see what happens," he said.
Current Speaker Rick Thompson will step down next month to join Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin's administration as secretary of the Department of Veterans Assistance. State law requires Tomblin to call a special session of the House of Delegates within 10 days of Thompson's departure to elect a new speaker. The elections are held via a secret ballot.
Miley said he hopes the campaign for speaker ends sooner rather than later. He said 35 delegates have pledged their support, more than enough to win the 54-member Democrat caucus, and he would prefer if White's camp would concede the race and avoid dividing the party.
Meanwhile, West Virginia Chamber of Commerce President Steve Roberts said his group likely would not make an official endorsement in the race but would prefer to see White as speaker.
Roberts said White has done a good job managing the budget as House finance chairman and has "consistently worked for job creation and economic development.
"We know with Delegate White we would have a good working relationship," Roberts said.
The chamber's relationship with Miley has not been as easy.
"We haven't always agreed. We've been disappointed with some of the things the House Judiciary Committee has done, and some of the things it hasn't done," Roberts said.
He said Miley's committee killed several bills the chamber believed would have improved West Virginia's economic climate while passing other pieces of legislation that hurt state employers.
"I don't think his record reflects that he gets up every day thinking about how to make more jobs for West Virginians," Roberts said.
More than a dozen Democrat delegates officially announced their support for Miley on Wednesday, including House Majority Whip Mike Caputo, D-Marion, Speaker Pro Tempore Randy Swartzmiller, D-Hancock, and House Judiciary Vice Chairman Tim Manchin, D-Marion.
House Judiciary members Stephen Skinner, D-Jefferson, Barbara Feischauer, D-Monongalia, and Mike Manypenny, D-Taylor, also signed on to support Miley.
Also expressing support were delegates Anthony Barill, D-Monongalia; Phil Diserio, D-Brooke; Michael Ferro, D-Marshal; Linda Longstreth, D-Marion; Charlene Marshall, D-Monongalia; Daniel Poling, D-Wood; David Walker, D-Clay; and Adam Young, D-Nicholas.
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