The Senator’s wife Paula Cookman, son Donnie Cookman, and grandson Sam Cookman were present for the ceremony, along with many friends and officials of the state.
“I am overwhelmed and humbled to start this new chapter of my life,” said Senator Cookman. “I am delighted to be here and be a part of the legislative process.”
Governor Earl Ray Tomblin appointed the Senator to the position on January 23, 2013 after Helmick left the Senate to fill the position of Agriculture Commissioner.
Governor Earl Ray Tomblin appointed Cann to the position in mid-January to serve out the remainder of the four-year term. Cann had been serving in the House of Delegates since he was first elected in 1994.
As a Senator, Cann will be serving as Vice-Chairman of the Senate Committee on Economic Development and will also serve as a member on the Senate Committees on Pensions, Government Organizations, Agriculture, and Judiciary.
Members of Cann’s family, including his wife Phyllis, daughter Laura and three brothers, Carmine Jr., Jim, and Larry, were on hand for the ceremony while Senate Clerk Joseph Minard issued the oath.
Lawmakers in attendance included Senate President Jeffrey Kessler, Senate Minority Leader Mike Hall, Speaker of the House Richard Thompson, House Majority Leader Brent Boggs, and House Minority Leader Tim Armstead.
At 1:30, senators and delegates will reconvene in the House Chamber for a joint assembly to receive the election returns for the Constitutional Officers.
The 1st Regular Session of the 81st Legislature convened on opening day to swear in the newly elected members of the Senate and House of Delegates. Members of the Senate were sworn in by the Honorable West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals Chief Justice Brent Benjamin. Members of the House were sworn in by the Honorable Justice Menis Ketchum II.
The House and Senate re-elected House Speaker Richard Thompson and Senate President Jeffrey Kessler, respectively.
Also elected to their official positions were Senate Clerk Joseph Minard replacing former Clerk Darrell Holmes, Senate Sergeant of Arms Howard Wellman and Senate Doorkeeper Anthony Gallo. The House of Delegates re-elected House Clerk Gregory Gray, and elected House Sergeant of Arms George McClaskie and House Doorkeeper Tom Hively.
Immediately following the swearing-in ceremonies, Senators and Delegates reconvened in the House Chamber for a joint assembly to receive the statewide election returns.
Both the West Virginia Senate and House of Delegates have adjourned until Wednesday, February 13, 2013.