November special election set for West Virginia Senate seat


A November special election will fill the seat of the late Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.) after state lawmakers and Gov. Joe Manchin (D) reached an agreement late Monday. 

A primary will take place August 28 with a special election on November 2.

Manchin said he intends to announce his intentions for the seat at 10 a.m. Tuesday morning. He is widely expected to announce he'll run in November's special election.

The legislation passed and signed into law by the governor Monday night declares November's special election a legally separate contest from this fall's general election, which means Rep. Shelly Moore Capito (R) is able to run for Byrd's seat without giving up her seat in the House. 

There is no word yet on whether Capito intends to jump into the Senate race, but state lawmakers just eliminated the biggest obstacle to her doing so. Were she to jump into the race, she would offer Republicans their best short of defeating Manchin in November.  

Making the special election a legallly separate contest had been the major sticking point for Republicans in the state legislature. Democrats initially appeared unwilling to compromise on the issue.

With a deal seemingly slipping away Monday afternoon, Gov. Manchin went to the statehouse to work Republican lawmakers and after two news conferences were scrapped Monday afternoon, the governor's office set a third for 9 p.m. Monday evening to announce the deal.

The filing period for the special election begins Tuesday morning and will last through 5 p.m. Friday.

After signing the law, Manchin praised the work of both Democrats and Republicans in the legislature.

"I just wish Washington would come together as well as we come together," said Manchin. He added, "If you want to run for the United States Senate, please sign up tomorrow at 8:30."