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The West Virginia Senate confirmed Tuesday the appointment of Paul Hardesty, a longtime coal lobbyist and former Logan County Board of Education member, to the state Board of Education.

The vote was 30-0, with Sens. Mike Maroney, R-Marshall; Patricia Rucker, R-Jefferson; David Stover, R-Wyoming; and Tom Takubo, R-Kanawha, absent. There was no public discussion before Tuesday’s vote.

Hardesty served alongside many of the senators in 2019 and 2020, after Republican Gov. Jim Justice appointed him to fill a vacant Democratic seat in the chamber.

Now an independent, Hardesty’s state school board term will last through November 2029 — unless reappointed by a future governor to the board and reconfirmed by senators.

Senators also confirmed Tuesday, in the same 30-0 vote without discussion, Justice’s reappointment of Tom Campbell to the board. Campbell, the board’s vice president, can now continue serving through November 2030.

Democratic former governor Earl Ray Tomblin first appointed Campbell to the board in 2012. Campbell previously served as a Democrat in the House of Delegates, and he remains in the party.

State school board members serve nine-year terms. Once appointed to the board by the governor and confirmed by the Senate, they cannot be ousted over policy or political disagreements.

Hardesty’s appointment is only for eight years because he’s filling the term vacated by Stan Maynard, who left the board after one year.

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