CHARLESTON, W.Va. – House Speaker Roger Hanshaw, R-Clay, today announced he was promoting current Committee on Government Organization Chairman Gary Howell, R-Mineral, to be Speaker Pro Tempore for the House of Delegates for the upcoming 85th Legislature.
“Since he was first elected in 2010, Gary has built a reputation of being a strong voice for conservative values in the Legislature,” Speaker Hanshaw said. “He’s shown that he’s willing to embrace innovative ideas to improve our state and benefit all West Virginians.
“As Government Organization Chairman, he’s held agency bureaucrats’ feet to the fire to get them to better serve citizens, reformed the state’s vehicle fleet so that taxpayers can actually know how many vehicles this state owns, and led initiatives to reform our occupational licensing boards to make it easier for people to get jobs in this state,” Speaker Hanshaw said. “As Speaker Pro Tempore, he’ll be able to continue pushing innovative ideas to make West Virginia the best place to live, work and raise a family.”
As Speaker Pro Tempore, Howell will preside over floor sessions should the Speaker not be available and also provide input as a member of the House leadership team. According to the House Clerk’s office, Howell is the first individual from Mineral County to hold this prestigious position.
“I’m honored and humbled Speaker Hanshaw has chosen me for this position, and thank him for the ability to serve as a member of his leadership team,” Speaker Pro Tempore Howell said. “West Virginians sent a strong message in this last election that they’re ready for bold, innovative ideas shaped by conservative principles to further transform our state and build a brighter future. I’m eager to get to work to help continue writing West Virginia’s comeback story.”