CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The House of Delegates today elected Delegate Roger Hanshaw, R-Clay, as the 58th Speaker of the West Virginia House.
Speaker Hanshaw succeeds former Speaker Tim Armstead, R-Kanawha, who resigned last week. He becomes just the second Republican to serve as leader of the House of Delegates since the current state Capitol was built in the 1930s.
“With great humility, I accept this opportunity to help make West Virginia a better place to live, work and raise a family,” Speaker Hanshaw said. “We have made great strides in the past four years under Speaker Armstead’s leadership, and I hope to build on that foundation so we can continue to improve our economy, inspire business investment and help create jobs for all West Virginians.”
Speaker Hanshaw, 38, is currently serving in his second term in the House of Delegates. The Vice-Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, he also serves as Chairman of the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Flooding.
Speaker Hanshaw is a Clay County native and graduate of Clay County High School. According to the Legislature’s Office of Reference and Information, Speaker Hanshaw is just the second Clay County resident elected to an officer position in the Legislature, the other being J.M. Dorsey, who was elected Senate Doorkeeper in 1905 and 1913.
After earning an undergraduate degree from West Virginia University, Speaker Hanshaw earned a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Notre Dame.
“I earned my chemistry degree fully intending to return home to work in Kanawha Valley’s once-thriving chemical industry,” Speaker Hanshaw said. “But once I graduated, I came home to find out the job I wanted had been transferred overseas to India. That experience has fueled my passion to work hard every day to make sure that every West Virginian who wants to stay here, work and raise a family has the opportunity to do so.”
After graduating with his chemistry degree, Speaker Hanshaw returned to WVU, where he graduated with a J.D. from the College of Law and now works as an attorney in Charleston.
During his time at Clay County High, Speaker Hanshaw was an active member of the Future Farmers of America, where he began learning about parliamentary procedure. He is now a professional registered parliamentarian and certified professional parliamentarian, and travels the country to counsel government bodies and nonprofit organizations. He recently served as National Parliamentarian for the National Association of Parliamentarians.
“I’ve had the privilege of working with Roger over the past four years on the Judiciary Committee, and his intelligence, decisiveness, work ethic and humble demeanor have earned him the respect of members on both sides of the aisle,” said Judiciary Committee Chairman John Shott, R-Mercer, who formally nominated Hanshaw for Speaker. “I can think of no better person to lead this House as we continue to work to move West Virginia forward.”
Speaker Hanshaw lives in Wallback with his wife Kirsten and daughters Kathryn and Rebecca.