But neither candidate has said the agency needs to be broken up.
Tomblin said programs are so intertwined they need one person to help oversee them.
"There's a lot of interconnectivity between the programs," Tomblin said during Tuesday's televised debate with Maloney.
Maloney said the agency is "probably the worst for political cronyism and nepotism," but he said the agency needs to "promote from within" and the governor needs to stop hiring consultants.
"You're saying if you were governor you wouldn't look for any expert advice?" Tomblin asked Maloney during the debate.
DHHR employs a number of consultants that cost the state tens of millions of dollars. Tomblin also recently hired an auditor to examine the agency and other state health programs, an apparent attempt to revaluate its operations.
"Listen, if you ask the folks that are doing the job - I had employees, they know how to do that job - you don't need to hire all these high-priced consultants that are related to somebody or there's some backroom deal," Maloney said. "You know about them. I can't keep track of them."
Tomblin has called for an expeditious resolution of the dust-up between the whistleblowers and Fucillo over the marketing contract.
"As far as the allegations of any wrongdoing, those are being looked at by the appropriate authorities," Tomblin said during the debate. "When those investigations are complete, I will take the appropriate action at that particular time."
But the whistleblower lawsuits allege that an internal investigation by DHHR has violated state law and is being used as another means to continue the agency's retaliatory actions.