CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Members of the state House of Delegates are meeting Tuesday in Charleston to pick their next leader.
However, onlookers will have to wait until Thursday to see any fireworks at the Capitol.
Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin announced Monday that delegates would meet Tuesday in special session to elect outgoing Speaker Rick Thompson's replacement.
The Wayne County Democrat resigned his post officially Saturday to take over as cabinet secretary of the Department of Veterans Assistance. Monday was Thompson's first full day in his new role, said Tomblin spokeswoman Amy Shuler Goodwin.
Political posturing started almost immediately after Thompson announced his intentions to leave in May. After weeks of discussions that grew contentious at times, selection of the new leader of the House is expected to go smoothly.
Democrats hold the majority of the 100 seats in the House so they have the say for the next speaker. Several Democratic delegates expressed interest in the post, but House Judiciary Chairman Tim Miley and House Finance Chairman Harry Keith White emerged as the leading candidates.
Miley, of Harrison County, quickly sent out press releases boasting of 37 public commitments of support from fellow delegates. White initially said some had pledged to vote for him in a closed caucus but Friday announced it was time for the party to unite behind Miley.
In a message left Friday with the Daily Mail, White said it's in the best interest of the House for him to support Miley.
"We're within 11 months or so of a primary election and six months of the session and six months of starting to file for the primary, so probably the least disruption at this time, the better, that we can all continue to work pretty much as a team," White said.
Typically the speaker runs the proceedings in the House. Because there is no speaker until a new one can be chosen, House Clerk Greg Gray will call the chamber to order, he said. Gray will then turn things over to House Speaker Pro Tempore Randy Swartzmiller, D-Hancock, to run the session.