W.Va. secretary of state to hold afternoon presser to explain Sen. Byrd succession process

West Virginia Secretary of State Natalie Tennant will explain the succession process for the late Sen. Robert Byrd's (D-W.Va.) seat during a press conference Monday afternoon, according to her spokesman.

Tennant's office has been consulting with the staff of Gov. Joe Manchin III (D) to determine how to proceed. The state's election code isn't clear about whether a special election should be held to fill the remainder of Byrd's ninth term or whether a placeholder can serve until 2013.

The governor told the Associated Press Monday that he won't appoint himself and has no timetable for finding an interim senator.

Tennant, a Democrat, issued a statement early Monday expressing condolences to Byrd's family but didn't comment on the procedure for filling the vacant seat.

West Virginia Democratic Party officials told The Ballot Box they were unsure whether to expect a special election call or the appointment of a placeholder.