UPDATE (9/17/19 3:45 p.m.):
CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Gov. Jim Justice has chosen a replacement for Del. Jason Harshbarger, who resigned August 30.
Justice has appointed Trenton C. Barnhart to the House of Delegates, to represent District 7. Barnhart is a lifelong resident of Pleasants County.
Jason Harshbarger, the House of Delegates representative for the 7th District, announced his resignation Wednesday.
Harshbarger, a Republican, represents all of Ritchie County and most of Pleasants County.
In a letter to Speaker of the House Roger Hanshaw, Harshbarger said that he is pursuing a private sector job that will not allow him to continue to serve in the House of Delegates.
In the letter, Harshbarger said:
“It has been an absolute honor to represent the people of the 7th District these past three years. I have thoroughly enjoyed serving with you and my fellow legislators, and wish you continued success in your efforts to make West Virginia the best place to live, work and raise a family.”
The Republican Party executive committee for the 7th District will have 15 days from August 30 to submit nominations to Governor Jim Justice. Once he receives those names, Justice will have five days to appoint a new delegate.
Here is the code that details the process of replacing a delegate who resigns:
§3-10-5. vacancies in state Legislature.
(a) Any vacancy in the office of state senator or member of the House of Delegates shall be filled by appointment by the Governor, from a list of three legally qualified persons submitted by the party executive committee of the same political party with which the person holding the office immediately preceding the vacancy was affiliated at the time the vacancy occurred. The list of qualified persons to fill the vacancy shall be submitted to the Governor within 15 days after the vacancy occurs and the Governor shall duly make his or her appointment to fill the vacancy from the list of legally qualified persons within five days after the list is received. If the list is not submitted to the Governor within the 15-day period, the Governor shall appoint within five days thereafter a legally qualified person of the same political party with which the person holding the office immediately preceding the vacancy was affiliated at the time the vacancy occurred.
(b) In the case of a member of the House of Delegates, the list shall be submitted by the party executive committee of the delegate district in which the vacating member resided at the time of his or her election or appointment. The appointment to fill a vacancy in the House of Delegates is for the unexpired term.
Harshbarger’s resignation takes effect August 30, 2019.
The next round of interim meetings are scheduled for September 23.
Harshbarger, who was first elected to the House in 2016, was serving as an assistant majority whip.