Governor Justice Names New Chief of Staff; He’s Senator Mike Hall

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Republican State Senator Mike Hall will be the New Chief of Staff for Governor Justice. Hall replaces Democrat Nick Casey who was fired by the Governor Monday. Hall is well-respected and liked on both sides of the aisle. He’s served in the House and Senate nearly 23 years; and currently chairs the Senate Finance Committee. His only loss was a race for state Treasurer five years ago.

“He has a great relationship with the Legislature. He has a strong conservative and fiscal and social conservative record. And I think he’d serve the Governor very well in that role,” said State Sen. Mitch Carmichael, (R) Senate President.

“Mike Hall is a great guy. I think he is a rational, reasonable legislator,” said State Sen. Corey Palumbo, (D) Minority Whip.

The Senate’s second ranking Democrat calls Mike Hall a good choice, by says the real problem this year was Governor Justice:

“Well it’s important if the Governor will listen to him. I think the Governor – in the first year of his term – has not shown to be a person who listens very well to differing views or perspectives. So if Mike’s there and he’ll listen to him, I think he’ll be very helpful. If he doesn’t listen to him I think it will be just be a loss to the Senate,” said State Sen. Corey Palumbo, (D) Minority Whip.

One area of possible conflict is on cutting state income taxes. Most Senate Republicans and the Governor wanted to do that, but Hall was very cautious, with support that was at best lukewarm.

“He may have had some different viewpoints on how on we achieve the same objectives, but he definitely believes that our tax structure in West Virginia is inappropriate, to our current fiscal condition. And that we need to change to reduce our taxes,” said State Sen. Mitch Carmichael.

“If Senator Hall indeed becomes the new Chief of Staff for the Governor that mean his Senate seat will be vacant, the Governor will have to appoint another Republican to fill out the fill out Hall’s term,” said Mark Curtis, 13 News Chief Political Reporter.

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