RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Republican Delegate Kirk Cox was elected as Speaker of the House on Wednesday.
He was nominated by a Republican and seconded by a Democrat. The vote was 98-0. It was without any battle for power, as both parties had been meeting about how to organize the house for the last few days.
Republican Bob Thomas of Fredericksburg was seated because a federal court rejected a voter-led motion to throw out the result because 147 voters voted in the wrong district.
Republican David Yancey was seated after winning last week's name drawing and Democrat Shelly Simonds conceded Wednesday morning.
During his speech, Cox said, "We occupy a house where the partisan makeup is very different than it has been in two decades. For the past several weeks, the 5-feet-wide center aisle that separates this chamber has felt five miles wide. The first and foremost task of this body is to bridge that divide. We are not two parties, we are one house."
The delegates were sworn in on Wednesday, seating Danica Roem, the first openly transgender delegate, and more women and minorities than ever before.
This year, not only is the video of the house and senate being archived but for the first time, committee meetings will be live-streamed and archived. Therefore, the legislature is going to be more transparent than it ever has.
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