Mike Queen, the Democratic president of the Harrison County school board, and the Republicans said they were concerned that Senate search committee chairman Martin Shaffer had manipulated the process to replace Minard.
During a meeting last week in Flatwoods, the Democratic Party committee picked three names to send to Tomblin, but Shaffer cast all three of his votes for one person, Harrison County Commissioner Mike Romano.
The state Democratic Party made its first response to these criticisms on Wednesday in a statement from state party Chairman Larry Puccio. The statement was sent just moments after Tomblin released a statement announcing he had picked Cann.
"Throughout these Senate vacancy meetings, the Republican Party and certain individuals have attempted to intervene for their own personal political gain," Puccio said in the statement.
"The state Democratic Party will continue to stay focused on protecting the process and supporting the volunteer members of these district committees in their work to supply the governor with recommendations in a timely and transparent fashion. I thank those committee members for volunteering their time and service to our state."
Shaffer said the style of voting he used, known as "cumulative voting," is allowed by Robert's Rules of Order, the bible of parliamentary procedure.
He is correct.
But a recent edition of Robert's Rules added a note emphasizing that "cumulative voting violates the fundamental principle of 'one person, one vote,' " according to a list of changes to the 2011 edition on the guidebook's website.
By the beginning of the Legislature's work in mid-February, Tomblin is likely to have filled three vacancies in the 34-member Senate with un-elected senators and also named a new, un-elected delegate to replace Cann.