West Virginia gov names commerce, minority affairs directors

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) -- Two West Virginia Republican lawmakers who recently lost re-election bids have earned new jobs in the administration of Gov. Jim Justice.

Justice on Tuesday announced the appointment of Ed Gaunch as the state commerce secretary and Jill Upson to lead the Herbert Henderson Office of Minority Affairs.

Gaunch is a Kanawha County Republican who lost his state Senate race to union-backed Democrat Richard Lindsay.

In June, Justice forced out Commerce Secretary Woody Thrasher after complaints about poor management and residents receiving no help from a housing assistance program for 2016 flood victims.

Upson is a Charles Town Republican who lost a House race to Democrat Sammi Brown. Upson was the first Republican African-American woman elected to the House in 2014.

Upson replaces Bill White, who was fired after a female employee accused him of sexual harassment.

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12/4/2018 3:13:53 PM (GMT -5:00)