CHARLESTON, W.Va. —When State Senator Mike Hall, R-Putnam nominated Howard Wellman of Mercer County to serve as sergeant-at-arms for the West Virginia State Senate, several of the senators smiled, and swiveled in their seats to look in Wellman’s direction. The Mercer County native, smiled in return and remained standing with his head slightly bowed.
Hall had been in the minority party for eight years, but like every senator, Wellman had befriended him when he arrived, and on that day, Hall appeared to be genuinely honored to place his name in nomination and confident enough to predict that he would receive a “34-0 vote” from the senators.
“When we’re here, I don’t really see any differences in political parties,” Wellman said. “We may be Democrats and Republicans, but when we come together in here, we’re all West Virginians. There may be differences in opinions, but we’re all working to serve the state.”
The sergeant at arms and door keeper of the senate serves as protocol and chief law enforcement officer of the chamber. Wellman, 70, has made a lifetime commitment to serving his state…