Speculation has centered on House Speaker Rick Thompson (D-Wayne) as a candidate for the Democrat nomination for Governor in 2012. He was elected Speaker in 2007 with the strong support of Labor.
Many political and business leaders have seen Labor’s support as a liability for Thompson if he enters the Governor’s race. It appears Speaker Thompson has the same concern.
The Speaker got behind an effort to establish a business court in West Virginia. It passed the House of Delegates 98 to 0. This despite an independent committee suggesting the issue needed more study.
“I have long felt that by creating some kind of business court system, West Virginia would be in a better position to attract and keep businesses of all sizes,” Thompson said in a House press release.
It goes without saying House Republicans and a few Democrats would support such a measure. Without Thompson’s backing the chance of business getting a victory in the House is slim.
This move will pay dividends for Thompson in 2012. As a candidate for Governor he can say I have been friendly to business.