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Miley selected as new WV House speaker

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Delegate Tim Miley, D-Harrison, has been selected as the new Speaker of the House.

Fifty-three delegates supported Miley, who was first elected to the House of Delegates in 2004. Miley will replace outgoing Speaker Rick Thompson, D-Wayne, who resigned from the House mid-term to become cabinet secretary of the Department of Veterans Assistance.

Delegate Ryan Ferns, D-Ohio, cast his vote for House Minority Leader Tim Armstead, R-Kanawha, the only other nominee for the position. After casting his vote, Ferns tweeted "West Virginia first. Party second."

Following tradition, Miley and Armstead voted for each other. After the vote, Armstead said he and Miley would work together despite their differences.

"We have a common goal ... to make our state stronger," Armstead said.

An emotional Miley spoke, thanking his family, friends, neighbors and colleagues for their support. He said during his tenure, he hopes to emphasize three issues: education, infrastructure and natural gas.

"I am one who wants to recognize where I think work can be done," Miley said.

Miley will serve as speaker through the end of 2014. The House will vote to retain Miley or select a new speaker at the beginning of the 2015 session.

Miley most recently served as chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. Before that, he was vice-president of the Legislative Rule-Making Review Committee.

By day, Miley is a personal injury lawyer, practicing in Clarksburg. He is president of the Harrison County EMS and member of the West Virginia State Bar, Harrison County Bar Association, West Virginia Association for Justice, American Association for Justice and the Harrison County Chamber of Commerce.

He and his wife Susan and stepdaughter Jordin live in Bridgeport.

Miley said he is looking forward to working with members of the House of Delegates, Democrats and Republicans, to move the state forward.

"I choose to focus on the positive aspects of West Virginia because there are good things happening," he said.