West Virginia has passed legislation to hold a special election this November to replace the late Democratic Sen. Robert Byrd, with Dems and Republicans compromising on key provisions. Dem Gov. Joe Manchin, a potential candidate in that same election, signed it into law Monday night.
The special election law, designed to fix the state’s highly ambiguous pre-existing statute, provides for a primary this August 28, with the general election being held at the regular time this coming November. A two-thirds majority was needed in order to have the law take effect immediately, a requirement that briefly delayed the bill. As the Charleston Daily Mail reports, a key compromise for Republican support involved allowing candidates who have already filed for election this year to simultaneously run for the Senate seat — clearing the way for GOP Rep. Shelly Moore Capito to run for both the Senate seat and her House seat if she so chooses.
A Rasmussen poll from a week and a half ago gave Manchin an initial lead over Capito of 53%-39%. Manchin has a press conference scheduled for 10 a.m. ET today, at which he will announce whether or not he will run.