Justice picks Hall’s replacement: Butler lands in top three


CHARLESTON — The process to find a replacement for State Senator Mike Hall who was recently appointed as chief of staff to Gov. Jim Justice, has ended.

Mark Drennan has been appointed to Hall’s unexpired term. The seat had to be filled by a Republican, as Hall is a member of the GOP.

According to a report cited by the Associated Press, since 2011 Drennan has served as executive director of the West Virginia Behavioral Health Care Providers Association. Previously, he served as chief strategy officer for the Children’s Home Society. He holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology and a Master of Social Work from West Virginia University. He lives in Teays Valley with his wife, Sarah and two sons.

Delegate Jim Butler (R-Gallipolis Ferry) was also in the running for the position. Butler said he made it through the first round of voting in the selection process and was part of the top three candidates that were approved by a selection committee. Those top three candidates, which included Butler, Drennan and Jeff Barnes, then went to Justice who had the final say on who filled Hall’s seat.

Butler said the selection committee was made up of a man and woman from each of the counties which fall in the fourth senatorial district – all of Jackson and Mason and portions of Putnam and Roane counties. This committee then called in the applicants who were interviewed last Thursday.

In a statement to the Register, Butler said: “At about 5 o-clock today (Tuesday) I got a text message from a House colleague that included the press release announcing that Governor Justice had appointed Mark Drennan to complete the unexpired State Senate term of Mike Hall. I would like to congratulate Mr. Drennan, and wish him much success as we all continue to make important decisions that affect the lives of West Virginians. I am very grateful, and honored, to have been one of seven applicants, and the only replacement candidate chosen in the first round of voting for the final three. I know some of the candidates pretty well, and I’m sure it was a difficult decision for the county committees. This decision by the Governor is not a surprise to me since I have been openly opposed to many of his proposed tax increases. It is an honor to continue to serve West Virginians, and in particular Mason and Putnam Counties in the House of Delegates. Please join me as I continue to pray for the USA and for West Virginia.”

As for if Butler has plans on pursuing a run at the state senate anytime soon.

“My decision, in part, will depend on how well he (Drennan) does there,” Butler said. “If he’s supporting good policies then I’ll be satisfied where I am.”

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Delegate Jim Butler (R-Gallipolis Ferry), pictured, was one of three candidates from which Gov. Jim Justice picked a replacement for Mike Hall’s state senate seat. Justice went with Mark Drennan from Putnam County.
http://www.mydailyregister.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/24/2017/09/web1_2.13-PPR-Butler-2.jpgDelegate Jim Butler (R-Gallipolis Ferry), pictured, was one of three candidates from which Gov. Jim Justice picked a replacement for Mike Hall’s state senate seat. Justice went with Mark Drennan from Putnam County.
Butler lands in top three

By Beth Sergent

bsergent@aimmediamidwest.com

Beth Sergent is editor of Ohio Valley Publishing.