CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Barring some completely out-of-left field maneuver, it appears the race for the Speaker of the House of Delegates is over. House Finance Chairman Harry Keith White, D-Mingo, announced Friday morning on Hoppy Kercheval's "Talkline" that he is bowing out of the Speaker race and lending his full support to opponent House Judiciary Chairman Tim Miley, D-Harrison.
"I just don't think now is the time to create division within the Legislature," White told Kercheval.
He pointed out the next regular Legislative session will begin in January and there are only 11 months until the next primary election. He said "the numbers are pretty close" in the House, with Republicans making up 46 of the 100 House seats.
White said both he and Miley had supporters among House Democrats and, "we don't need a division among ourselves."
Miley, who also appeared on "Talkline" Friday morning, invited Republicans to join in supporting him for Speaker, although he acknowledged that likely will not happen.
Now that he has formally dropped out of the Speaker race, White told Kercheval he would like to stay on as Finance Chairman. But that decision ultimately belongs to Miley, if he is elected Speaker.
"The Speaker has to make that call in committee assignments. He said there will be minimal changes," White said.
Miley would not say if White will be allowed to remain as Finance Chairman, but said he does "intend to recognize people for the talents they bring to the House of Delegates."
"I will live up to my commitment of stability," he said.