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WV SoS: No Byrd Election This Year
June 29, 2010 Content provided by DDC Advocacy
Late yesterday, Democratic Secretary of State Natalie Tennant issued a statement interpreting the West Virginia Election Code to mean that no special election for the late Sen. Robert Byrd's (D) seat will be held in 2010. Instead, the special election will run concurrently with the 2012 general election. An appointed Senator will serve until that time. Though the Election Code is clear that the vacancy occurred in such a time that the special election should be in 2010, there is no procedure for candidate filing after the general election nomination period has closed, which is the current situation (primary was on May 11th). Citing West Virginia case law, Tennant stated that "...part of this same section of code, requires the candidate to have filed during the filing period. That filing period has already passed. There was a legal case in 1994 decided by the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals that up held that position of requiring candidates to file during the filing period." Clearly the ruling is positive for Democrats, since they will not have to defend another potentially vulnerable Senate seat this year. Expect legal challenges to this rather controversial ruling.