Patterico's Pontifications


Replacing Senator Byrd

Filed under: 2012 Election — DRJ @ 4:03 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Allahpundit on the West Virginia vacancy law to replace Senator Robert Byrd:

“The West Virginia primary was May 11, and evidently they don’t usually hold any odd-year elections there. So the effect of this very stupid law is that had Byrd died in another week or two, past the midway point of the term, the governor could have appointed a successor to finish his term; as it is, thanks to the caveats about special-election candidates having to qualify for primaries under the normal election timetable, he gets to appoint someone for the remainder of Byrd’s term anyway. Not dumb enough for you? Try this on for size: According to the SoS [Secretary of State], they’ll actually have to hold two elections in 2012, one the special election mandated by Byrd’s death and the other the normal general election. The winner of the special election will be seated immediately and will serve two months from November 2012 to January 2013, when the winner of the general election is seated as part of the new Congress. Not a huge deal since the winner is bound to be the same in both elections, but stupid nonetheless.”

As noted yesterday, Governor Joe Manchin is the leading candidate to serve out the remainder of Byrd’s term. Why, you wonder? One reason is because Manchin is hugely popular and, as Governor, he gets to appoint Byrd’s successor.


10 Responses to “Replacing Senator Byrd”

  1. He can never be replaced in our hearts though.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  2. It is very difficult to replace something that was never there to begin with.

    AD - RtR/OS! (7166b6)

  3. Guess some of those buildings, hospitals and bridges will just have to name themselves until a successor is appointed…

    Gazzer (dd9e24)

  4. I believe I heard on Fox that Manchin has decided not to appoint himself. Of course, it ain’t over till it’s over.

    John Hitchcock (9e8ad9)

  5. I’m no expert on WV politics, but I understand Manchin is quite popular. However, is is possible that he realises what a bad time it is to be a Dem and is going to bide his time until 2012 when he hopes the climate will be better? And Obama-free.

    Gazzer (dd9e24)

  6. I read or heard somewhere (maybe here) that WV law has a 30-month cut-off. Since the seat was vacated prior to July 3, 2010, the Governor would appoint someone to serve until January, 2011 and a November, 2010 election would be held to finish out the term. Had the seat been vacated after July 3, 2010, the Governor would be appointing someone to fill out the whole term.

    If that is accurate, that could explain why the Governor wouldn’t appoint himself. 2010 is a Republican year and he wouldn’t want to go up for re-election and face a chance at losing in a Republican year. It’s harder to win in 2012 if you lost the same seat in 2010.

    John Hitchcock (9e8ad9)

  7. Pretty sure this will be interpreted in such a way as to avoid an election as long as possible.

    Kevin Murphy (5ae73e)

  8. Isn’t appointing ones self to a higher office about the same as representing oneself in a court of law?

    One could also point out that such a practice is crass.

    Just remember to keep 2010 simple. RE-Elect NO – ONE….

    Can be forwarded to 2012 as well.

    Also let all of them know, you put them in and you can take them out. Go home and elect another one that will be different.

    TC (8dbd0c)

  9. This set of legal rules is idiotic and the legislature should change them post-haste.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  10. The longer that seat remains vacant, the better.

    JD (959071)

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