WV House Democrats Announce Leadership Team for 85th Legislature

House Minority Leader Doug Skaff, Jr.

Press release

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – House Minority Leader Doug Skaff, Jr. (D-Kanawha) announced key members of the House Democratic Caucus leadership team for the 85th Legislature.  

“The House Democratic Caucus knows that we will have to put forward an agenda that truly represents the needs of a population that is hurting in a volatile climate marked by divisiveness and a global pandemic,” said Leader Skaff. “Holding only 23 out of 100 seats, we know that this will be a challenge, but we hope that with that challenge there will be growth, understanding and a future where we can advance policies that rebuild our communities. We have a great team of West Virginia Democrats ready to get to work to make sure West Virginians thrive here at home,” Skaff stated.  

Delegate Shawn Fluharty (D-Ohio) will serve as Minority Whip, replacing Delegate Mike Caputo (D-Marion) who was elected to the State Senate.  

“Shawn is a passionate advocate for the people of our state and West Virginia Democratic values,” Leader Skaff stated.  “I look forward to him bringing that fire and passion into this role to help lead and shape our caucus as we move forward.”

“While I realize that every battle that we have in the Minority will be an uphill battle, I know many West Virginians are counting on us to fight for them,” Minority Whip Fluharty stated. “I will proudly stand up and fight for working class West Virginians every day to ensure that their voices are heard.”

The following members have been named Assistant Minority Whips for the upcoming session: Delegate Nathan Brown (D-Mingo); Delegate Phil Diserio (D-Brooke); Delegate Cody Thompson (D-Randolph) and Delegate Lisa Zukoff (D-Marshall).

“Nathan, Phil, Cody and Lisa are leaders in their communities and in the Legislature,” Leader Skaff stated. “I am grateful that they will serve in these roles to help facilitate communication and work within our caucus.”

Delegate Sean Hornbuckle (D-Cabell) has been appointed as the first Minority Leader Pro Tempore for the House Democrats. In this role, Delegate Hornbuckle will work with the Minority Leader on caucus messaging and organization and serve as a liaison with the Senate Democrats.

“Sean is a leader,” Leader Skaff said. “His input and contributions to our caucus are invaluable,” he stated.  “I look forward to working closely with him in this newly created leadership role.”

Minority Leader Skaff has also appointed minority chairs and vice-chairs of committees of the House of Delegates.

Delegate Sean Hornbuckle (D-Cabell) will continue to serve as Minority Chair of the Committee on Education. Delegate Cody Thompson (D-Randolph), an educator at Elkins High School, will serve as Minority Vice-Chair.  

Delegate Ed Evans (D-McDowell) will serve as Minority Chair of the Committee on Energy, with Delegate David Pethtel (D-Wetzel) serving as Minority Vice-Chair.  

Delegate Brent Boggs (D-Braxton), a former Chairman of the Finance Committee and former Majority Leader, will serve as Minority Chair of the Committee on Finance, with Delegate Larry Rowe (D-Kanawha) serving as Minority Vice-Chair.  

Delegate Phil Diserio (D-Brooke) will serve as Minority Chair of the Committee on Government Organization. Freshman Delegate Jim Barach (D-Kanawha) will serve as the Minority Vice-Chair.

Delegate Mike Pushkin (D-Kanawha) will continue to serve as Minority Chair of the Committee on Health and Human Resources.  Delegate Danielle Walker (D-Monongalia) will serve as Minority Vice-Chair.  

Delegate Chad Lovejoy (D-Cabell) will serve as Minority Chair of the Committee on Judiciary.  Delegate Nathan Brown (D-Mingo) will serve as Minority Vice-Chair.

“Although we may be small in numbers, our caucus members have years of invaluable institutional knowledge that complements the fresh new voices in our caucus,” Leader Skaff stated.

Additional leadership for subject-matter committees is listed below.

Committee on Agriculture: Delegate Ric Griffith, Chair; Delegate Ed Evans, Vice-Chair

Committee on Banking and Insurance: Delegate Mick Bates, Chair; Delegate John Williams, Vice-Chair

Committee on Fire Departments and Emergency Medical Services: Delegate Dave Pethtel, Chair; Delegate Brent Boggs, Vice-Chair

Committee on Homeland Security: Delegate Mike Pushkin, Chair; Delegate Lisa Zukoff, Vice-Chair

Committee on Industry and Labor: Delegate Shawn Fluharty, Chair; Delegate Joey Garcia, Vice-Chair

Committee on Natural Resources: Delegate Evan Hansen, Chair; Delegate Kayla Young, Vice-Chair

Committee on Pensions and Retirement: Delegate Dave Pethtel, Chair; Delegate Ed Evans, Vice-Chair

Committee on Political Subdivisions: Delegate John Williams, Chair; Delegate John Doyle, Vice-Chair

Committee on Prevention and Treatment of Substance Abuse: Delegate Danielle Walker, Chair; Delegate Mike Pushkin, Vice-Chair

Committee on Seniors, Children and Family Issues: Delegate Lisa Zukoff, Chair; Delegate Brent Boggs, Vice-Chair

Committee on Small Business, Entreprenuership and Economic Development: Delegate Kayla Young, Chair; Delegate Sean Hornbuckle, Vice-Chair

Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure: Delegate Cody Thompson, Chair; Delegate Joey Garcia, Vice-Chair

Committee on Veterans Affairs: Delegate Barbara Fleischauer, Chair; Delegate Ric Griffith, Vice-Chair

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