Longest Serving Senator Says Her Party Won't Concede Power

Sen. Donna Boley

Senator Donna Boley of Pleasants County was the only Republican member of the West Virginia Senate in the 1990’s. 

Now, she is the longest serving member of the upper chamber and will preside as Senate President pro-tem.

After Tuesday night’s mid-term election, Boley’s tenure also means she will preside over the next Senate President election in January. 

Boley said Wednesday she was surprised by the Republican sweep, but is unsure, like many others in the chamber, of how to proceed now that the body is evenly spilt between the two parties.

“I thought we would we might pick up three or four more to make 14,” Boley said.  

“You always knew that you were going to elect a Democrat president and you had Democrat chairs,” the Senator said of previous session, “and with this split I’m just not sure how we’re going to handle that.”

But Boley doesn’t believe Republican members will simply give up their claim to leading the chamber.

“I’m sure that since the Republicans fought so hard to get 17 they’re not going to automatically  give up the fact that that they might give up the presidency,” she said.

Boley was first elected to the state senate in 1985.