West Virginia Senate

Coordinates: 38°20′11.5″N 81°36′46.7″W / 38.336528°N 81.612972°W / 38.336528; -81.612972
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West Virginia Senate
86th West Virginia Legislature
Coat of arms or logo
Term limits
New session started
January 11, 2023
Craig Blair (R)
since January 13, 2021
Donna Boley (R)
since January 14, 2015
Tom Takubo (R)
since January 9, 2019
Mike Woelfel (D)
since January 11, 2023
Political groups
  Republican (31)


  Democratic (3)
Length of term
4 years
AuthorityArticle VI, West Virginia Constitution
Salary$20,000/year + per diem
Plurality voting in staggered elections
Last election
November 8, 2022
(17 seats)
Next election
November 5, 2024
(17 seats)
RedistrictingLegislative Control
Meeting place
Senate Chamber
West Virginia State Capitol
Charleston, West Virginia
West Virginia Legislature

The West Virginia Senate is the upper house of the West Virginia Legislature. There are seventeen senatorial districts. Each district has two senators who serve staggered four-year terms. Although the Democratic Party held a supermajority in the Senate as recently as 2015, Republicans now dominate in the chamber, and holds 31 seats to the Democrats' three seats.


Senators are elected for terms of four years that are staggered, meaning that only a portion of the 34 state senate seats are up every election.[1]

The state legislature meets on the second Wednesday of January each year and conducts a 60-day regular session.[1]

Legislative process[edit]

Unlike most state senates, the West Virginia Senate can introduce revenue bills.[1] Bills must undergo three readings in each house before being sent to the governor.[1] Bills are drafted by the Office of Legislative Services or legislative staff counsel, reviewed by the sponsor of the bill and submitted for introduction.[2] Bills are assigned to committees that make recommendations about a bill in the form of a committee report.[2]

Bills approved in both the West Virginia Senate and West Virginia House of Delegates are then submitted to the governor, who has the power to sign them into law or veto them.[1] The state legislature can override the veto, unless they have already adjourned.[1]


The state is divided into 17 districts, with each electing a senator for a four-year term every two years. Thus each district contains about 1/17th of the state's population, or about 105,000 persons.

The state's districting system is unique in the United States in that both senators from a district cannot be from the same county, no matter the population of the various parts of the district. This means, for example, that one of the 5th District's two senators must reside in Cabell County and the other must reside in the portion of Wayne County that is inside the 5th District, even though Cabell County has more people than the portion of Wayne County that is part of the 5th District. However, both senators are elected by everybody within the district, not just by the people of the county in which the senators reside.

Responding to the 2010 Census the Senate redistricted itself. Kanawha County was divided for the first time in the Senate's history, with the northern and western portions joining a part of Putnam County as the 8th District and the remainder of the county constituting the 17th district on its own. This reduced the number of Senators from Kanawha County from four to three, as one of the 8th's had to be a resident of Putnam.

Responding to the 2020 Census the Senate again redistricted itself. The Senate adopted a new map, again reflecting a shift of the population to the Morgantown area and the Eastern Panhandle. Ten counties, out of the 55, were divided between two different districts, and Kanawha County was divided between three different districts.[3]

Because senators are elected for four-year terms, the redistricting will not come fully into effect until after the 2024 election, as 17 senators were elected under the new map in 2022, while those elected in 2020 under the old map will continue to serve until 2024.

Senate president[edit]

The Senate elects its own president from its membership. Craig Blair is currently the president of the West Virginia Senate.

While the West Virginia Constitution does not create or even mention the title of lieutenant governor, West Virginia Code 6A-1-4 creates this designation for the Senate president, who stands first in the line of succession to the office of governor. As stated in Article 7 Section 16 of the constitution: "In case of the death, conviction or impeachment, failure to qualify, resignation, or other disability of the governor, the president of the Senate shall act as governor until the vacancy is filled, or the disability removed." However, the Senate President may not always serve the remainder of the term as the constitution also states: "Whenever a vacancy shall occur in the office of governor before the first three years of the term shall have expired, a new election for governor shall take place to fill the vacancy."

Current composition[edit]

Map of partisan composition of legislative districts for state senate after the 2022 elections:
  2 Democrats
  1 Democrat and 1 Republican

86th Legislature (2023–2024)[edit]

Affiliation Party
(Shading indicates majority caucus)
Republican Democratic Vacant
Beginning of the 82nd Legislature 18 16 34 0
End of the 82nd Legislature
Beginning of the 83rd Legislature 22 12 34 0
End of the 83rd Legislature
Beginning of the 84th Legislature 20 14 34 0
End of the 84th Legislature
Beginning of the 85th Legislature 23 11 34 0
End of the 85th Legislature
Beginning of the 86th Legislature 30 4 34 0
December 1, 2022[4] 31 3
Latest voting share 91.2% 8.8%

Leadership of the 86th West Virginia Senate[edit]

Position Name Party District County
Senate President/Lieutenant Governor Craig Blair Republican 15th Berkeley
President pro tempore Donna Boley Republican 3rd Pleasants
Majority Leader Tom Takubo Republican 17th Kanawha
Minority Leader Mike Woelfel Democratic 5th Cabell
Majority Whip Ryan Weld Republican 1st Brooke
Minority Whip Robert Plymale Democratic 5th Wayne

Committee Chairs and Vice Chairs[edit]

Committee Chair Vice Chair
Agriculture & Natural Resources Bill Hamilton David Stover
Banking and Insurance Mike Azinger Mike Oliverio
Confirmations Donna Boley Laura Chapman
Economic Development Chandler Swope Patrick Martin
Education Amy Grady Charles Clements
Energy, Industry, & Mining Randy Smith Ben Queen
Enrolled Bills Jack Woodrum Rollan Roberts
Finance Eric Tarr Rupie Phillips
Government Organization Jack Woodrum Jason Barrett
Health & Human Resources Mike Maroney Tom Takubo
Judiciary Charles Trump Ryan Weld
Military Ryan Weld Vince Deeds
Outdoor Recreation Mark Maynard Jay Taylor
Pensions Eric Nelson Mark Hunt
Rules Craig Blair Tom Takubo
School Choice Patricia Rucker Mark Maynard
Transportation & Infrastructure Charles Clements Mike Stuart
Workforce Rollan Roberts Glenn Jeffries

Members of the 86th West Virginia Senate[edit]

District Up Senator Party Since Residence Home Cty.[a] Counties represented[5]
1 2026 Laura Chapman Republican 2022 Wheeling Ohio Brooke, Hancock, Marshall, Ohio
2024 Ryan Weld Republican 2016 Wellsburg Brooke
2 2026 Charles H. Clements Republican 2016 New Martinsville Wetzel Doddridge, Marion, Marshall, Monongalia, Wetzel, Tyler
2024 Mike Maroney Republican 2016 Glen Dale Marshall
3 2026 Mike Azinger Republican 2016 Vienna Wood Pleasants, Ritchie, Wirt, Wood
2024 Donna Boley Republican 1985 St. Marys Pleasants
4 2026 Eric Tarr Republican 2018 Scott Depot Putnam Cabell, Jackson, Mason, Putnam
2024 Amy Grady Republican 2020 Leon Mason
5 2026 Mike Woelfel Democratic 2014 Huntington Cabell Cabell, Wayne
2024 Robert H. Plymale Democratic 1992 Ceredo Wayne
6 2026 Mark R. Maynard Republican 2014 Genoa Wayne McDowell, Mercer, Mingo, Wayne
2024 Chandler Swope Republican 2016 Bluefield Mercer
7 2026 Mike Stuart Republican 2022 South Charleston Kanawha Boone, Kanawha, Lincoln, Logan
2024 Rupie Phillips Republican 2020 Lorado Logan
8 2026 Mark Hunt Republican 2022 Charleston Kanawha Clay, Jackson, Kanawha, Putnam, Roane
2024 Glenn Jeffries Republican 2016 Red House Putnam
9 2026 Rollan Roberts Republican 2018 Beaver Raleigh Fayette, Raleigh, Wyoming
2024 David Stover Republican 2020 Maben Wyoming
10 2026 Vince Deeds Republican 2022 Renick Greenbrier Fayette, Greenbrier, Monroe, Nicholas, Summers
2024 Jack Woodrum Republican 2020 Hinton Summers
11 2026 Bill Hamilton Republican 2018 Buckhannon Upshur Barbour, Braxton, Pendleton, Pocahontas, Randolph, Upshur, Webster
2024 Robert L. Karnes Republican 2020 Helvetia Randolph
12 2026 Ben Queen Republican 2022 Bridgeport Harrison Calhoun, Gilmer, Harrison, Lewis, Taylor
2024 Patrick S. Martin Republican 2020 Weston Lewis
13 2026 Mike Oliverio Republican 2022[b] Morgantown Monongalia Marion, Monongalia
2024 Mike Caputo Democratic 2020 Rivesville Marion
14 2026 Jay Taylor Republican 2022 Grafton Taylor Grant, Hardy, Mineral, Preston, Taylor, Tucker
2024 Randy Smith Republican 2016 Thomas Tucker
15 2026 Charles S. Trump Republican 2014 Berkeley Springs Morgan Berkeley, Hampshire, Morgan
2024 Craig Blair Republican 2012 Martinsburg Berkeley
16 2026 Jason Barrett Republican 2022 Martinsburg Berkeley Berkeley, Jefferson
2024 Patricia Rucker Republican 2016 Harpers Ferry Jefferson
17 2026 Tom Takubo Republican 2014 Charleston Kanawha Kanawha
2024 Eric Nelson Republican 2020 Charleston Kanawha
  1. ^ Multi-county districts (all but District 17) must elect Senators from different counties
  2. ^ Oliverio previously served in the Senate from 1994 to 2010.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f West Virginia Constitution, West Virginia Legislature (accessed May 29, 2013)
  2. ^ a b How a Bill Becomes Law, West Virginia State Legislature (accessed May 29, 2013)
  3. ^ "SB 3034 Text". Archived from the original on October 20, 2021.
  4. ^ Glenn Jeffries (District 8) switched parties from Democratic to Republican. [1]
  5. ^ "2020 REDISTRICTING" (PDF). wvlegislature.gov. 2021.

External links[edit]

38°20′11.5″N 81°36′46.7″W / 38.336528°N 81.612972°W / 38.336528; -81.612972