Manchin signals special election run

West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin said on MSNBC's "Daily Rundown" on Friday he expects the state legislature to back a November special election for the seat of the late-Sen. Robert Byrd. 


And Manchin said it was "highly likely" that he would be on the ballot for that race should it occur. 

"We need to have the legislature come back in and clarify this as soon as possible," Manchin said. 

He said according to the state attorney general's office, the power would fall to the governor to select both the primary and general election dates for a special election. But Manchin said since he could be a candidate, the setting of the date might fall to the legislature instead. 

Manchin is expected to make his intentions clear Monday. 

Another issue Manchin raised, which has Democratic lawmakers in the state concerned, is the process of gubernatorial succession should Manchin run in and win a special election.

"We have an ambiguous situation in our code on the following of me as governor, how that succession works," Manchin said. "That needs to be cleared up, too."

If Manchin were to remain in office while running and winning a special election this November, the process to succeed him is unclear. In the event of a vacancy, State Senate President Earl Ray Tomblin (D) would become acting governor but a special election for governor would be needed.

If a gubernatorial special election didn’t happen sometime between November and January, West Virginia Democrats could hypothetically begin the 2011 legislative session with Tomblin in the role of governor and Senate president. 

See video of Manchin's interview here.