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Ed Gaunch named as new West Virginia commerce secretary

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice names Ed Gaunch, a senator from Kanawha County, as the new commerce secretary. (WCHS/WVAH)

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice has named a state senator from Kanawha County as the new commerce secretary.

Ed Gaunch has been picked for the post, West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice announced Tuesday.

Gaunch, a Republican senator who represents Kanawha County in the 8th District, lost his bid for re-election to the Senate. He was defeated Nov. 6 by Richard Lindsay, a Democrat.

The new commerce secretary will take over a post that was left vacant after Woody Thrasher resigned. Thrasher resigned at the request of controversy over the RISE flood program. At the time, Justice called it inexcusable that the people hit by the flood of June 2016 are still waiting for assistance.

W. Clayton Burch was named in June as the interim secretary of commerce. Burch had been serving as the associate state superintendent of schools and acting secretary of the Department of Education and the Arts.


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