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Race for W.Va. House speaker to test Dem unity

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Control of West Virginia's House of Delegates hangs in the balance with intense jockeying between two Democratic candidates for speaker.

The House's slim Democratic majority has little time to unite, given the race between Judiciary Chair Tim Miley and Finance Chair Harry Keith White.

Miley has on-the-record pledges from around 37 of 54 Democrats, including at least one former White supporter. But White believes the final count will be different once party delegates cast secret ballots to nominate a candidate. That's expected June 18.

The House's large Republican minority hopes to stage a coup. The state Chamber of Commerce and various labor unions have also added to tensions by weighing in on the race.

The outcome will shape next year's session and perhaps House elections as well.

 

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press