"From a Democratic standpoint, they'd like to resolve this issue so the Democrats can go forward with a united front," Skaff said last week.
Skaff, who intends to run for the seat of retiring state Sen. Brooks McCabe, D-Kanawha, next year, has also sought to speak for younger delegates amid the Democratic race for speaker.
"Those new voices deserve a seat at the table," said Skaff, a 36-year-old business owner. "I've been out in the open for Harry Keith White. ... He thought we needed a good combination of stability (and) new voices. Tim Miley's camp was more about maintaining the status quo."
Stressing that he has no issue with Miley, Skaff said that what has disturbed some fellow delegates has been "outside organizations weighing in on what should be an internal matter." Both labor unions and the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce have sought to influence the race. The Chamber, which praised Tomblin's planned appointment of the 60-year-old Thompson, has targeted several of Miley's supporters in news releases. These attacks have cast these supporters, as well as Miley, as the House's most liberal members. They also seek to link them to President Barack Obama, who is unpopular in the state.
Miley rejects the attempt to label him.
"No one has ever accused me of being anything except moderate or moderate-to-conservative," Miley said. He added, "These groups have a right to express their opinion. My only desire is that communications sent out are honest and forthright, and not hyperbole and fear-mongering."
The state AFL-CIO, which includes a number of affiliated unions, and the West Virginia Education Association endorsed Miley in late May. But that backing had White questioning whether labor groups were browbeating delegates into supporting Miley.
"They've never seen labor jump in like this, with such a full-court press," White said before his meeting with Miley, recounting comments from other delegates. "I've got a decent voting record with labor, but I also think I'm known for keeping it in the middle of the road."
Once Thompson resigns from his House seat for the executive branch post, a Democratic committee will recommend names to Tomblin. The governor will then appoint a new delegate for that Wayne County seat until the 2014 elections.