Thompson leaving House for veteran’s post

CHARLESTON — House Speaker Rick Thompson will take over as the cabinet secretary for the state Department of Veterans Assistance next year.

Keith Gwinn, who has held the position for two years, said this morning he would retire for health reasons and Thompson would take over the post.
“I have to [retire],” Gwinn said. “I have had eight operations in the last six years.

“I look forward to working with Mr. Thompson.”

Thompson, D-Wayne, has served as Speaker of the House since 2007. He was first elected to the Legislature in 1980 and then again in 2000. In 2011, he lost a bid for the Democratic nomination for governor.

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin is expected to announce the appointment later today.

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