Right now the names as potential replacements are Kirk Cox and Morgan Griffith, the two other current members of leadership. While I know of no particular reason neither of them should not serve in this position; I hope the GOP will look for and choose someone who has all the necessary characteristics.
While there is no question Vance Wilkins has his problems; it is very difficult to challenge his effectiveness. Under his watch the GOP House caucus grew greatly in size (in no small help by redistricting). The other key was the unified caucus he brought to bear that has been somewhat shaky under Speaker Howell's tenture (2004 sales tax among others). In order to be successful, we need someone who can plat a vision and hold everyone together to accomplish their goals.
We need someone else in Vance's vein, someone with a wide knowledge of the state's politics as well as someone who has a job and position that allows them to devote much more time to recruiting and rallying the troops. This has been one diffidult thing for Speaker Howell; as he has a one man law practice that requires a large amount of his time.
At this point I do not have any names to suggest; I just hope we stop the automatic assent strategy employed in the past. That is not always the best way to get the best people in the best positions.