West Virginia governor wins Democratic primary for Byrd seat

West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin won the Democratic primary Saturday for the Senate seat left vacant by the passing of Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.).

The primary was quickly called after Byrd died on June 28. Manchin appointed his former counsel Carter Goodwin, who made clear that he had no aspirations to run for the seat, to fill in until an election could be held. Goodwin was sworn in last month as the youngest member of the Senate.

Manchin will face businessman John Raese, who lost to Byrd in 2006 and won the Republican primary Saturday.

Manchin faced former U.S. Rep. Ken Hechler and Sheirl Fletcher, who ran for the Senate as a Republican in 2008. With 97 percent of precincts reporting Sunday morning, Manchin had 73 percent of the vote.

Raese faced a crowded field of Republican hopefuls, but easily won with 71 percent of the vote.