CHARLESTON, W.Va. – House Speaker Roger Hanshaw, R-Clay, today announced several key members of his leadership team for the 84th Legislature.
Delegate Amy Summers, R-Taylor, will serve as Majority Leader; Delegate Kayla Kessinger, R-Fayette, will serve as Assistant Majority Leader; and Delegate Paul Espinosa, R-Jefferson, will serve as Majority Whip.
“Republican leadership has made great strides to improve our state since taking over the Legislature in 2015, and now I’m looking to assemble a team of people that can build on that foundation and take us to a new level of prosperity,” Speaker Hanshaw said. “Amy, Kayla and Paul are committed to moving our state forward, and have shown repeatedly over the last few years that they have the energy, passion and command of the issues to help effectively lead our caucus in the coming years.”
Delegate Summers was first elected to the House in 2014, and will be the first Republican woman to serve as Majority Leader. A registered nurse and owner of an Angus cattle farm, she most recently served as vice-chairwoman of the House Health Committee. She also served on the Agriculture and Natural Resources, Judiciary and Political Subdivisions committees.
“Having worked with Amy the past four years on the Judiciary Committee, I’ve seen firsthand the reasoning and tenacity that will help her excel as Majority Leader,” Speaker Hanshaw said.
“I’m honored by the confidence Speaker Hanshaw has shown in me with the Majority Leader appointment,” Delegate Summers said. “West Virginia is at a key turning point. Our caucus’s bold, conservative leadership has pulled the state out of the morass in the past few years, and now we have a tremendous opportunity to build a brighter future for all. I look forward to working with my colleagues in the coming years to create a more prosperous state for generations to come.”
Delegate Kessinger was also first elected to the House in 2014. She has served most recently as the vice-chairwoman of the House Select Committee on Prevention and Treatment of Substance Abuse, as well as on the Energy, Judiciary, Small Business and Economic Development, and Veterans Affairs and Homeland Security committees. In her role, she will help Majority Leader Summers to lead the House Republican caucus and manage daily floor sessions.
“Kayla was the second-youngest member of the Legislature when she was first elected, but in four short years she has become one of the leaders within our caucus through the way she fiercely tackles issues and works to effect change,” Speaker Hanshaw said.
“I am greatly humbled by this appointment and look forward to working with all members to make a difference in our state,” Delegate Kessinger said. “State lawmakers need to aggressively pursue policies that will reverse the drain of young, educated professionals from our state, and I’m grateful to be a voice for my generation within this House leadership team.”
Delegate Espinosa was first elected in 2012, and most recently served as chairman of the House Education Committee. In addition to that role, he has also served as Assistant Majority Whip and a member of the Finance, Rules, Roads and Transportation, and Small Business and Economic Development committees.
“As Education Committee Chairman and a member of Finance, Paul has had to navigate some extremely tumultuous waters in recent years to find solutions that benefit our state,” Speaker Hanshaw said. “I believe these experiences will be a tremendous asset in his new role as Whip.”
“I am grateful for this appointment and the Speaker’s confidence in me,” Delegate Espinosa said. “As Whip, I look forward to working with our caucus to build consensus, educate them on the intricacies of the issues facing our state, pass legislation and find new and innovative ways to move our state forward.”
Speaker Hanshaw said additional leadership positions and committee appointments will be named in the coming days.