West Virginia Leaders Look Forward to New Governor

(Charleston-AP) -- Democratic and Republican lawmakers in West Virginia say they hope to have a closer relationship with the new governor than they have with Gov. Wise.

Since he took office in 2001, Wise has endured a chilly relationship with legislators, who criticize him for not being as outgoing as his Republican predecessor, Cecil Underwood, or as inclusive as the Democrat before him, Gaston Caperton.

Caperton's collaborative style enabled him to pass even unpopular proposals such as a 1989 tax increase.

House Speaker Bob Kiss, a Raleigh County Democrat, calls the consultative style of governance "The Caperton Model."

Wise's decision to pass on re-election after acknowledging an extramarital affair has touched off a frenzied effort to replace him. Ten Republicans, eight Democrats and a Libertarian have filed to run, and other minor party candidates can still file.

Senator Donna Boley, a Republican from Pleasants County, says lawmakers want to be part of the solution, rather than just agreeing with or objecting to what the governor proposes.

(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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