West Virginia Governor Appoints Placeholder To Byrd’s Seat

While a bill to allow a special election this November moves through the West Virginia legislature, the state’s Governor has appointed a long time aide to fill the seat:

Democratic Gov. Joe Manchin announced Friday that he has selected his former chief counsel, Carte Goodwin, to be the next senator from West Virginia.

Manchin called it a “tremendous signal” to appoint Goodwin, who will be the youngest member of the Senate, to succeed the late Sen. Robert Byrd, the oldest member of the Senate when he passed away last month at 92-years-old.

“We passed this torch to another generation, basically the generation that will have the opportunity to lead West Virginia,” Manchin said.

Goodwin, who hails from a family that is well-connected in West Virginia Democratic circles, said he will not run in the special election to fill the remaining two years of Byrd’s term—leaving the field free for Manchin, who as expressed his interest in running.

State lawmakers are meeting in special session to determine when the special election will be held. The regularly scheduled election for a full six-year term takes place in November 2012.

And thus Goodwin joins the proud tradition of Senate bench warmers.

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Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook