It's official: House Speaker Bob Kiss, D-Raleigh/Kanawha, is retiring from the House of Delegates after 18 years of service, including 10 as Speaker. Tomorrow's Beckley Register-Herald has a long story on Kiss's announcement, clearly indicating he planned to retire and conceal his decision until the close of candidate filing.
Retiring after 10 years as House Speaker, Kiss will tie his predecessor--U.S. District Judge Chuck Chambers--as the longest-serving speaker of the West Virginia House of Delegates. Given the timing of Kiss's announcement, it's clear he did not want to increase the number of candidates filing for the House of Delegates in the 27th District. With his retirement and the departure of Delegate Sally Susman, D-Raleigh and candidate for the state Senate, the GOP now has the opportunity to sweep all 5 seats in this district, where it now has just one seat--that of Delegate Linda Sumner, R-Raleigh.