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WV: The Election is On

July 13, 2010    Content provided by DDC Advocacy

It is now a virtual certainty that the people of West Virginia will be allowed to choose the late Sen. Robert Byrd's replacement in the next Congress. With the state legislature coming back to Charleston for a special session later this week, the Governor has asked lawmakers to craft a new administrative law to allow for a 2010 Senate election. Earlier, the Secretary of State ruled that there were no provisions in West Virginia election law to govern a special election after completion of the regular primary, which occurred on May 11th. Complicating matters from a political perspective is Governor Joe Manchin's (D) clear interest in running for the Senate, as well as his duty to appoint a replacement who will serve until an election is conducted. Even this could be a tricky decision for Manchin because he must choose someone who will only serve three months and not become a candidate. The best Republican hopeful is Rep. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV-2), but she is hedging on whether to run. Saying she will decide when the special election is officially called, Capito commented that she doesn't "want to lose the momentum I think I provide for the state" -- a clear reference to risking her House seat in what appears to be the easiest re-election battle she has yet faced. Rep. Capito's Charleston-based district is Democratic in nature and she has endured several difficult campaigns during her nine-plus years in Congress.


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