Senate races

Report: West Virginia governor picks former counsel for Byrd seat

West Virginia Gov. Joe
Manchin (D) will name his former general counsel as the state’s interim senator,
the Associated Press is reporting.

Manchin will name Carte
Goodwin as the interim replacement for the late Sen. Robert Byrd Friday
afternoon, the report said. Goodwin served as the governor’s general counsel
from 2005 to 2009 and is currently in private practice in Charleston.

Reports out of the state
Thursday indicated that Manchin was leaning toward Goodwin. The pick makes
sense given Manchin’s own desire to run for the seat, as Democratic insiders
said there’s no concern Goodwin would be anything other than a placeholder
until a special election is held to fill out the remainder of Byrd’s term.

Manchin said he intends to
announce his own electoral intentions after the state legislature amends the
state’s election code to allow a November special election. 

Manchin will officially
announce his interim selection at a 2 p.m. news conference, where the pick is
expected to appear with the governor and address reporters. 

Meanwhile, Democrats in
Washington already have a date set to swear in Manchin’s appointee, who the
Senate leadership anticipates will be a much needed additional Democratic vote
on an extension of unemployment benefits that has been stalled in the

Democrats will hold 59 seats
in the Senate when Goodwin is sworn in next Tuesday.

Goodwin has political
aspirations of his own — he told the Charleston Gazette in June that he was
being recruited by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee to run
against Rep. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) this fall. 

Goodwin said he met with Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.)
and other DCCC officials about a possible bid.

—This story was updated at 11:04 a.m.

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