Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia on June 27, 1976 · Page 3
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Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia · Page 3

Charleston, West Virginia
Issue Date:
Sunday, June 27, 1976
Page 3
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3A--June 27. 1976 Sunday Gaxette-Mail - Crarlesfon. West Virginia Speaker Hopefuls Trying to* Get Votes By Herb Little The Associated Press it is one of the allurements that can be if it should turn out that judges aren't to dangled by hopefuls trying to lasso votes be elected in November. Boony Sommer- for speaker, to be chosen m a December ville would again be in the midst of the caucus of House Democrats. speaker race and loomi ve , You ve shown you have the stuff. Elmer. and I'd certainly give you every consideration if you could just see your way clear t o . . . " ' j A wishful thinker has no trouble translating that as a commitment. Statehouse Note Book LITTLE Balloon Journey to Europe Under Way LAKEHURST,N.J. AP)-Thejourney of Karl Thomas toward Europe in his Bicentennial red, white and blue, helium- filled balloon was under way Saturday out over the Atlantic Ocean with steady 33- knot winds pushing it along. After 16 hours aloft. Thomas was about 500 miles from the Lakehurst Naval Air Station where he took off. according to a communications center manned by friends in a New York City apartment. Thomas was said to be just off Cape Cod, Mass. The position report placed the balloon about 200 miles south of Halifax. Nova Scotia. A spokesman for the 27-yearold balloon p i l o t f r o m Troy. M i c h . , reported everything aboard the craft, dubbed "Spirit of 76." was going well. Thomas' course appears to be shifting northward as planned and he is moving toward Newfoundland, the spokesman said. "Generally, with the way the winds are taking him. it's the same route that Lindbergh took." the spokesman said. "The ride is looking beautiful." All communications with Thomas are being handled by a radio relay service. His talks with people on the ground are said to be brief and to the point. As first light showed clouds over Lakehurst on Saturday morning. Thomas radioed his friends on the ground, "Ask those guys where they put my sunglasses." Supporters, with a list of all gear stowed aboard the craft, relayed the information to Thomas. Sunday Gazelle-Mail Entered os second class matter at the Post Office at Charleston, W. Va.. under the oct of March 3, 1897. Independent newspaper published each Sunday morning by the Doily Gazette Company and Daily Mail Publishing Co., a subsidiary of Cloy Communications. Inc., in Charleston. W. Va. 25330. Sunday Gazette-Mat! is a member of The Associated Press. The Associated Press is entitled to the use of oil local news for reproduction. Telephones: Classified Advertising 348-4848 ; Circulation Deportment 348-5151 ·. All Other Deportment. 348-5140 _' \\oodrum 's IF NOT WIDE open, the speaker race is at least very fluid, now that Del. A. L, "Boony" Sommerville Jr. of Webster Springs is giving first priority to becoming a circuit judge rather than continuing in the.House and succeeding Del. Lewis N. McManus as speaker. McManus. who decided it's time to make some money selling insurance in Beckley. didn't run for the House again. Sommerville. House Judiciary Committee chairman, lost to McManus by only two votes in the speaker race in the December 1974 caucus. Sommerville would be running and the favorite this time if the legislature hadn't created seven new circuit judgeships. including one in his home circuit. With the 42-year-old lawyer evidently out of it. there is a good-sized platoon of House Democrats in various stages of getting into or appraising the speaker race. Definitely running and rated as a serious contender at this point is Del. Donald L. Kopp of Clarksburg. Labor and Industry Committee chairman. Another highly probably candidate, especially in a no-Sommerville contest, is Del. Joseph P. Albright of Parkersburg. third man behind McManus and Sommerville in the race two years ago. * * * DEL. T. J. SCOTT, D-McDowell, is an announced candidate "if Boony doesn't run." but his support is barely discernible. A partial list of others reportedly testing the waters includes Del. Roger W. Tomp- kinsof Charleston. Finance Chairman Billy B. Burke of Glenville and Del. Ted T. Stacy of Beckley. who says he's "looking over." Not everybody who lines up votes for speaker is necessarily a serious contender. A mere handful of votes inpocket at caucus time is leverage for other leadership posts and committee assignments to be distributed by the ultimate winner. The speculation assumes continued Democratic control of the House and the November re-election of those mentioned. The fomer is about the safest assumption around, since the Republicans would have to achieve a cataclysmic net gain of 37 House seats in November to take over and elect the speaker. + * * BY CAUCUS TIME,. Democrat John D. Rockefeller IV will be either the governor- elect or a two-time also-ran. If he beats ex-Gov. Cecil H. Underwood. Rockefeller's wishes can be cruically important in the speaker selection. The extent to which he takes a hand likely would depend on the acceptability to him of those who remain in serious contention when the caucus convenes. A slight legal cloud remains to be waved away before the procedure for electing one additional circuit judge in each of seven circuits, including Sommerville's. is entirely clear. Since the legislation didn't take effect until after the May primary, candidates weren't nominated then. The legal proba- bilitites appear to weigh on the side of November election of nominees to be chosen by judicial circuit party executive committees. But there is some thought that Gov. Moore may be entitled to appoint the new judges for the first two years of the eight- year terms that start Jan. 1. Therefore, a state Supreme Court test case is likely. Otherwise, judges elected in November might have their right to take office challenged. In the Fayette County circuit, the Democratic committee already has nominated W. Robert Abbot for the circuit's new judgeship. Reportedly under consideration there is setting the stage for a test suit by having the circuit clerk refuse to certify Abbot's candidacy. Pipefitters Accept Contract Proposal Members of Pipefitters Local 625 and Plumbers Local 651 Saturday voted to accept the contract proposal of the Plumbing and Heating Contractors Assn. of Charleston and to return to their jobs on Monday. The 650 members of the two unions have been on strike since the old work agreement expired June 1. Trail Club * Schedule Listed Here is the Kanawha Trail Club schedule for July: July 7. Little Creek Park: July 14, Coal Hollow, Bear Ridge and Sugar Camp: July 21, South Park Hill to Lick Branch and Sugar Camp; July 28. Kanawha State Forest. All hikes will depart from Broad Street and Kanawha Boulevard at 6:30 p.m. A special all-day outing will be at Grova Scherr's farm at Goldtown July 25. 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