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GOP picks Howell for House speaker again

Anita Kumar

House Republicans selected Bill Howell of Stafford to serve as House speaker at the caucus's organizational meeting in downtown Richmond today.

Technically, the entire 100-member House must re-elect Howell as speaker when the chamber reconvenes in January, but with 61 GOP members Howell is assured victory.

The caucus also re-elected its three top leaders: Morgan Griffith as majority leader, Sam Nixon as caucus chairman and Del. Kirk Cox as majority whip.

Republicans picked up six House seats in November's election and are now at a 12-seat advantage in the chamber if a contested Virginia Beach seat switches to the GOP as expected.

About 55 of the 61 members attended today's meeting at the state GOP headquarters. Gov.-elect Bob McDonnell was invited to attend, but his spokesman Tucker Martin said he had a scheduling conflict that prevented him from being there in person. McDonnell spoke to the group by phone instead.

House Democrats easily re-elected Del. Ward Armstrong of Henry as their leader yesterday at the caucus's annual retreat outside Richmond.

By Anita Kumar  |  November 15, 2009; 8:56 PM ET
Categories:  Anita Kumar , Election 2009 , General Assembly 2010 , House of Delegates , Robert F. McDonnell  
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