Under the Dome delivers a review of the issues considered by State Government and the 83rd Legislature during its Second Session and provides information on matters that affect WVU and higher education. This edition covers updates on the 2018 election.
Almost 48% of West Virginia’s registered voters went to the polls on November 6. The turnout eclipsed the 2014 midterm by 10%.
Voters re-elected U.S. Senator Joe Manchin, Congressman David McKinley and Congressman Alex Mooney. They also elected current State Delegate Carol Miller in the Third Congressional District, who faced a spirited opponent in State Senator Richard Ojeda.
In the Legislature, there will be 35 new members under the dome in January 2019. The Democrats picked up five seats in the House of Delegates and two seats in the State Senate.
Senate Majority Leader Ryan Ferns and Delegate Riley Moore, who was expected to serve as House Majority Leader during the next session, were both defeated. Longtime Democratic members Delegate Ricky Moye from Beckley and Delegate Richard Iaquinta from Clarksburg were also defeated.
In Monongalia County, incumbents Delegate Cindy Frich and Delegate Joe Statler were both defeated in the 51st district. Newcomers Danielle Walker and Evan Hansen will join Barbara Fleischauer, John Williams and Rodney Pyles to represent Morgantown and Monongalia County in Charleston.
Former U.S. Congressman Evan Jenkins and former Speaker of the West Virginia House of Delegates Tim Armstead were elected to the West Virginia Supreme Court. Governor Justice appointed them to the seats in August.
Nationally, the Democrats took control of the U.S. House of Representatives for the first time since 2010. The Republicans retained control of the U.S. Senate and added more seats to their majority. A number of gubernatorial races and state legislatures also changed hands from one party to the other.
On Friday, Kanawha County announced that it is reviewing up to 1,700 ballots that may have been incorrectly tabulated. This could change the outcomes of a few races, including the 8th Senatorial District, where Democrat Richard Lindsay leads incumbent Republican Ed Gaunch by approximately 288 votes and the 36th Delegate District, where newcomer Democrat Amanda Estep-Burton leads by only 27 votes over newcomer Republican Chris Pritt.
Governor Justice was expected to call the Legislature into special session on November 13 to consider Articles of Impeachment against West Virginia Supreme Court Justice Allen Loughry. However, Justice Loughry announced his resignation, and the Governor rescinded the special session call.
Justice Loughry was convicted of 11 counts in U.S. federal court last month. It is unknown whether the Legislature will reconsider articles against Justice Margaret Workman or former-Justice Robin Davis.
Legislative Interims and Regular SessionThe Legislature will hold interim meetings at the State Capitol on November 11-12 and December 9-11.
The first regular session of the new Legislature will convene on January 9, 2019.
WVU and WVU Extension Day at the Capitol will be held on January 24, 2019.
WVU at the State CapitolTravis Mollohan and Rocco Fucillo, both from WVU’s State Government Relations team, represent WVU at the State Capitol during the legislative session. They can answer questions about any issues addressed by the Legislature. You can contact them at: Travis Mollohan ( email@example.com) or Rocco Fucillo ( firstname.lastname@example.org).
More InformationTo learn more about the Legislature, including district maps, bill tracking, committee assignments and a summary of legislative activities, please visit wvlegislature.gov.
To learn more about WVU’s legislative and government relation initiatives, please visit governmentrelations.wvu.edu.