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House must choose true leader for progress

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As the jockeying intensifies for the speaker's position in the House of Delegates, factions seem to be lining up behind Finance Committee Chairman Harry Keith White, D-Mingo, and Judiciary Committee Chairman Tim Miley, D-Harrison. No clear-cut favorite has emerged and there is talk of a floor vote for speaker — something political observers tell us has never happened before.

While this certainly is interesting to watch, we must not let palace intrigue and backroom maneuvers distract us from the reasons why a forward-thinking leader of the House is so important. For far too long, the special interests have held sway in that body, often killing worthwhile reform legislation. We need a speaker with the courage and charisma to step up and put the true needs of this state and its people above all else.

We languish at the bottom of so many economic indicators; yet, we have such potential. Given just a half a chance, West Virginia could flourish in truly unimaginable ways. Our vitality, creativity and ingenuity have never been in question, but we've been beset by elected leaders unwilling or unable to move us forward. That's why the House needs true leadership, not someone who will kowtow to the special interests.