West Virginia Governor Seeks To Create Lieutenant Governor Position
Charleston, WV – Following the example of several other states, including Virginia, West Virginia Governor Earl Ray Tomblin announced Thursday afternoon that he’s seeking to create a new state government position.
“Most states, in some fashion or other have created the constitutional position of Lieutenant Governor” says Tomblin. “I believe that West Virginia needs to move in that direction. I’m therefore announcing today that I have formed a working group to assist my general counsel in developing for the legislatures’ consideration a constitutional amendment that if ratified by our citizens will create a Lieutenant Governorship in our constitution.”
Governor Tomblin says he hopes to accomplish three goals in this process. He says he wants to add clarity to the state constitution, create a position that is more than just a figurehead, and do it all with as little cost to the taxpayers as possible. Tomblin says his General Counsel will work with legislators to draft a resolution. He’s also asked a group of the state’s top lawyers to help with the task.
“I’m please to announce that Charles McElwee, WVU Professor Bob Bastress, Dean of the WVU College of Law Joyce McConnell, Marty Glasser and Bill Powell have all agreed to be part of this working group to assist in the formulation of an appropriate amendment.”
Governor Tomblin says it’s his understanding the joint legislative judiciary subcommittee of the WV legislature is already working on the question of a gubernatorial election and when it should be held. This will also be the topic of discussion in a case before the West Virginia Supreme court on January 11th.
In that case, the West Virginia Citizen Action Group and Thornton Cooper are seeking to compel the state to hold a new election to fill the vacancy in the Office of Governor. Governor Tomblin, former President of the West Virginia Senate, succeeded former Governor Joe Manchin after Manchin won a US Senate seat in 2010. The hearing before the West Virginia Supreme Court is scheduled for Tuesday, January 11th at 2pm.