Lawmakers pick new top business regulator

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia lawmakers have selected a new top regulator of public utilities, financial service companies and other businesses.

The Republican-led General Assembly elected Patricia West on Wednesday to serve as a commissioner on the State Corporation Commission.

Republican lawmakers had been unable to find a consensus candidate for a year, rejecting several potential candidates.

Democrats accuse Republicans of rushing West through the process and say there should have been more time to vet her as a candidate. Republicans say West has a long record of public service and further study wasn’t needed.

West is a former circuit court judge who worked for former Gov. George Allen and former Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli. She is currently an associate dean at Regent University’s law school.

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