CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — The leader of West Virginia’s shrinking Democratic minority in the state House of Delegates is stepping down.
House Minority Leader Doug Skaff Jr. announced Wednesday that he will end his tenure on Aug. 8, but will remain in his seat as a Democratic lawmaker representing Kanawha County for now. His term expires in 2024. Skaff assumed his position as minority leader in 2020.
Cabell County Democrat Del. Sean Hornbuckle, who currently serves as House of Delegates Minority Leader Pro Temp, will assume the role of minority leader.
Hornbuckle is one of only a handful of Black lawmakers in West Virginia’s predominately white state Legislature. He sits on multiple committees including education accountability, economic development and tourism.
In a statement, Skaff expressed gratitude for his time at the helm of the state’s House delegation, but said he “feels it is time to turn the leadership over to someone else.”
Skaff, who serves as president of HD Media, said he’s enjoyed working with Republican Speaker of the House Roger Hanshaw to “deliver common sense solutions for the people of West Virginia,” and attract businesses to the state. He called Hornbuckle “a strong leader, delegate and friend.”
Senate Minority Leader Mike Woelfel, who represents Cabell County alongside Hornbuckle, called him “a pillar in our community and a man of integrity.”
“I look forward to our continued partnership as colleagues and now as party leaders in the state house,” he said.