[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.