W.Va. House speaker won't seek re-election in 2018

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) The speaker of the West Virginia House of Delegates announced Friday he will not run for re-election in 2018.

Tim Armstead, R-Kanawha, made the announcement on WVMetroNews.

“I’ve made a decision to 2018 and am looking to the future in something I’m considering,” Armstead said. “I’m not planning to run for re-election to the House of Delegates this year.”

He went into a caucus with House Republicans to tell them before he made the public announcement.

“One of the offices I am looking very seriously at is election to the Supreme Court of Appeals,” Armstead said, saying it would be difficult to give full attention to his duties as Speaker while also preparing to make a 2020 Supreme Court run.

Armstead became the first Republican House speaker in 84 years when the GOP took over that chamber in 2014.

Shortly after Armstead's announcement, West Virginia Republican Chairwoman Melody Potter released the following statement:

"Speaker Armstead has been a leader in our Party for decades and voters finally rewarded his team in the House in 2014. Tim made conservatives proud for four Legislatures as the Minority Leader. His fellow Delegates chose him to lead into the first Republican majority in more than 80 years, as Speaker of the House in 2015.