CHESTER - Del. Randy Swartzmiller has indicated he will not accept a position in the state Senate which will be available as a result of Tuesday's election.
Swartzmiller, D-Hancock, was elected to his seventh term in the House of Delegates Tuesday. The Senate seat in question represents the state's 1st Senatorial District and will be vacated as a result of current state Sen. Orphy Klempa, D-Wheeling, being elected to the Ohio County Commission.
To fill the Senate seat, the Democratic executive committees from Hancock, Brooke, Ohio and Marshall counties must select a nominee, who will then need to be approved by Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin. That person will fill the remaining two years of Klempa's term.
Swartzmiller explained he had been approached about the position, but decided against it at this time.
"First, I'm very appreciative of everyone who has thought of me as a nominee for the open Senate position. I was flattered when contacted by Steve Kourpas of the Democratic Executive Committee and I have been inundated by delegates and senators from all over the state asking me what I was going to do, and some even saying welcome to the Senate," Swartzmiller said in a statement released Wednesday. "That is all very humbling, but at this time I respectfully will not seek the nomination as Senator to the West Virginia First Senatorial District."
While Swartzmiller said he is not ruling out seeking a Senate seat in the future, he explained he would prefer it come through the election process rather than by appointment.
"Down the road a Senate run may be considered, but for now I look forward to fulfilling the term I was elected to by the people," Swartzmiller said. "I look forward to the upcoming legislative session starting in February and working hard to provide the best public service I can for the citizens and businesses of the Northern Panhandle."
Swartzmiller has been a member of the House of Delegates for 12 years and currently serves as both Assistant Majority Whip and chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security.