House Education Chairman John Moore, R-Brandon, later took offense at the implication that anyone might have been bribed.
The House's action is a retreat from 2013, when House members amended a bill like the Senate's to mandate an automatic vote. Even that was too strong Tuesday.
Only eight members voted against the bill in the Senate.
"The difficulty is that the individuals who are getting to vote on a county superintendent of education in many instances want to do that," said Sen. Hob Bryan, D-Amory, a supporter of the bill. "I once suggested to the former speaker of the House, if he had his way, we'd be voting on county brain surgeons."