by Ron Gregory
CHARLESTON – Republican majority “chaos” has resulted in a decision by House Speaker Tim Armstead to retire. That’s according to state Democrat Party Chair Belinda Biafore.
Biafore said Armstead, a Kanawha County delegate, made his announcement today on his social media page. She said, “chaos in the Republican party has been heating up in the house since they’ve been in the majority.”
The Democrat chair noted that a recent poll showed the approval rating for President Trump has fallen since he carried the state with 70% of the vote in 2016.
“It’s no secret that the Republicans in the house of delegates have been in disarray for the last three years, so I’m not surprised to see Speaker Armstead not run for re-election,” said Biafore. “The GOP is in such chaos it’s clear that Armstead couldn’t defend the actions of his own party any longer.”
The Democrat chair noted that on the first day of the 2018 session, Republican Delegate Marshall Wilson of Berkeley County tried to oust Armstead from his speaker. “Wilson motioned to remove him from the floor,” Biafore said.
Adding to the party “chaos,” Biafore said when the poll was released showing Trump support slipping, the Republican state chair could not be reached for comment.
The very first action taken by a Republican in the house this session was to oust their own speaker,” Biafore added. “Then, nobody can find their chairwoman to discuss the dropping popularity of Trump. It’s getting harder for the Republicans to hide the trouble in their own party and West Virginians are taking notice that those in the majority are not capable of governing.”
Armstead, who lives in Elkview, currently represents the 40th Delegate District. He has said he considering a run for justice of the state supreme court in 2020.
Current Supreme Court Justices Menis Ketchum and Margaret Workman’s current terms will expire following the 2020 election. Although the two incumbents were elected as Democrats, judges in West Virginia are now elected on a non-partisan ballot in the primary election.