Bethlehem’s Kinsey Joins Legislature

BETHLEHEM – A village native is the newest member of the West Virginia House of Delegates.

Tim Kinsey, now of Lavalette, W.Va. in Wayne County, was selected last month by Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin to fill the delegate seat vacated when former House Speaker Rick Thompson, D-Wayne, resigned from the Legislature last month.

Kinsey, 64, is the son of the late Dick and Marian Kinsey of Bethlehem. He is a 1966 graduate of Triadelphia High School who obtained a degree in banking from Marshall University in 1970.

He retired two years ago after 41 years in the banking business.

Kinsey said some major changes in his life occurred in a matter of just a few hours beginning late on June 17. It was that night he was among three people selected by the Wayne County Democrat leaders for recommendation to Tomblin for the vacant delegate seat. A total of 13 residents applied for consideration.

“At 10 p.m. I came home and told my wife (Christie) I was one of three names selected,” he said. “She congratulated me, then told me we have to get to the hospital.”

The Kinseys’ son, Andy, and his wife, Kelly, were expecting a child. Their son, Fletcher Morris Kinsey, was born during the early morning hours of June 18.

“I didn’t sleep a lot that night,” Kinsey said. “Then the governor called me at 10 a.m. to tell me he was appointing me to the delegate seat. He said if I could hurry and get to Charleston, he wanted to meet me and I could get sworn in.”

The special legislative session started at noon that day. Kinsey said his first vote was to accept Thompson’s resignation, then he was introduced to his fellow delegates.

Later that day, Kinsey learned he had been assigned to the House Committee on Government Operations, and that committee was meeting the next day at 9 a.m. during interim sessions in Wheeling.

Kinsey drove to Wheeling the next day. He noted that during his stay here, he visited with family in the area – Bill and Linda Kinsey of Limestone; Mary Lou Kinsey of St. Clairsville; and Jim and Betty Kinsey of Moundsville. He also visited with his parents’ next door neighbors in Bethlehem – Stanley and Barbara Yonak.

Kinsey started his banking career at Security Bank in Huntington before moving on to Citizens National Bank in Point Pleasant, W.Va. and the Lavalette State Bank. He retired as a regional president for United Bank in Huntington.

Kinsey also has a twin brother, Tom. The brothers have been section hiking the Appalachian Trail, and plan to walk 200 miles on the trail this summer.

Tim and Christie Kinsey have two sons – T.R., a doctor in Augusta, Ga., and Andy, who sells medical equipment in Huntington.