At a press conference just now, Gov. Joe Manchin (D-WV) announced that he would try to hold a special election this year for the Senate seat formerly held by the late Democratic Sen. Robert Byrd. Manchin also said that he might run in that special election.
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His announcement came in response to an announcement from the Secretary of State that there would only be an appointment to the seat, with no new election until 2012. And for now, the matter of filling the seat is being placed on hold -- though Manchin again categorically ruled out appointing himself to the seat, while also keeping the door wide open to running in an eventual election.
At one point, a reporter asked Manchin whether he would run in a special election held this year. "I would highly consider that. I truly would. I always want to put myself in a position to help the people of West Virginia," said Manchin. He then went on to sound very much like a candidate in waiting, talking about the decline of civility and cooperation in Washington, and how he believes he can bring West Virginia's own issues to the forefront while improving the dialogue.
Manchin announced that he is asking state Attorney General Darrell McGraw (D) to write up a formal opinion on the law, which Manchin hopes could come by the beginning of next week or earlier. "Now with all that being said, I will not move forward on this appointment or the succession process until the Attorney General's opinion is rendered," said Manchin.