CHARLESTON, W.Va. -
A week after Rick Thompson announced he would resign as speaker of the House of Delegates, Democrats have yet to settle on a replacement.
Delegates of both parties have met and discussed options for new House leadership. Six Democrats have publicly announced their interest in the spot, leading to rampant speculation, rumors and political posturing.
Five of those Democrats met Wednesday in a closed-door meeting at the Capitol.
House Majority Leader Brent Boggs of Braxton County, Majority Whip Mike Caputo of Marion County, Finance Chairman Harry Keith White of Mingo County, Judiciary Chairman Tim Miley of Harrison County and Health Chairman Don Perdue of Wayne County tried to hash out a consensus.
Miley and Perdue said the meeting was beneficial but didn't lead to an agreement.
"What we've all been trying to avoid is a speaker's race ... In the end, we didn't accomplish that today," Perdue said.
Miley said it was the first time some of the candidates had discussed the position face-to-face.
Miley said an agreement among the group could go a long way to helping narrow the field.
No one wants a contested speaker's race, Miley said. But there are concerns about who would be the best speaker and the makeup of the leadership team.
"I can't say that everyone is on the same page now, but I can't say ultimately we won't get there," Miley said.
Perdue said he thinks now is the time for consistency. Moving members, regardless of their talents, into new positions could be too great a challenge for the party, he said.
Boggs expressed similar thoughts when he announced his candidacy for speaker.