July 13th, 2010
04:02 PM ET
13 years ago

WV Senator thinks replacement likely Friday

Washington (CNN) - Going a small step further than his governor, West Virginia Senator Jay Rockefeller told reporters Tuesday that he believes his state will appoint a replacement for former Sen. Robert Byrd, who died June 28, on Friday.

"My guess is that we'll have somebody Friday of this week," the Democrat said outside the Senate chamber.

Mountain State Governor Joe Manchin said last week that he hopes to have a new senator in place by then, but did not indicate the likelihood.

The decision over replacing the nation's longest-serving senator has been slowed down by competing interpretations of West Virginia's succession law, which states that any term of more than 30 months requires a special election. Byrd died with just a few days over 30 months left in his term, which was to expire January 3, 2013.

Manchin has called a special session of the West Virginia legislature to meet Thursday in order to clarify the law. The Democratic governor is expected to appoint a member of his party and has indicated he may run for the seat himself in the future.

Meanwhile, Democrats in Washington are counting the days and hours until a replacement is named.

Party leaders have frozen a vote on extending unemployment benefits until the appointment is made and they lock in an expected 59th vote.

Rockefeller said he is talking with Manchin daily and that both he and Senate Majority Leader Reid are pushing the governor for fast action.

"I'd like to have somebody up here tomorrow," Rockefeller said, "I just put pressure on (Governor Manchin) to get somebody up here."

Filed under: West Virginia
soundoff (11 Responses)
  1. John

    Hopefully, Manchin did not attend the Blagojevich school of senatorial appointments.

    July 13, 2010 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  2. Johnny DC

    Fantastic – another Deval Patrick rogue governor. Is this what our governing system has become? Executive, elected leaders of states are violating their own state laws in plain sight, for all to see, for political partisan gain?

    Where's the outrage, CNN? West VA state law states an election is necessary. Not the appointment of a Democrat replacement.

    July 13, 2010 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  3. veteran

    In Obama's words: do it quickly . We need the votes for our socialist agenda before they kick us out !

    July 13, 2010 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  4. Sniffit

    "Democrats(including our Comrade in Chief Bozo received more campaign funding from Wall St. than the GOP. I am so sick of hypocritical liberals! Send them out to pasture in November America!!!"
    The only way the above statement comes anywhere near making any sense is if you interpret it to mean that, in order to avoid hypocrisy, the Dems should be kissing Wall Street's proverbial behind by doing what the GOP is doing...continnuing to fight for an unrestrained, poorly regulated finance industry that is allowed to take obscene risks with the billions upon billions of dollars it holds in trust for its investors.

    BTW, cut it with the "fannie and freddie caused it all" garbage. You're blaming the woodcutter for the arsonist stealing his kindling and running off to start a forest fire that burns down the village. It's total nonsense. Anyone who knows even the littlest bit about what happened understands that derivatives, risk ratings, over-insurance, credit-default swaps and hedging were all mixed together in such a way as to (a) make the greedy Wall Street upper echelon billions of dollars and (b) at the expense of risking total and utter collapse of our economy. Thousands of mortgage foreclosures do NOT cause the economy to tank like it did without the finance industry first trying to hide those bad mortgages and, second, trying to prop them up in order to gamble and make money off them...money that isn't really there to be made in the first place.

    July 13, 2010 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  5. DagnyTag

    Liberals define hypocrisy

    July 13, 2010 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  6. Sniffit

    "Where's the outrage, CNN? West VA state law states an election is necessary. Not the appointment of a Democrat replacement."

    EPIC FAIL.. It was widely publicized upon Byrd's demise that WV state law clearly required that someone be appointed by the Governor based on the amount of time left in Byrd's term. The correct answer, if you were automatically inclined to knee-jerk criticize Manchin because he's a Dem, would have been to point out that last week he was blabbering about fighting to hold an election...one in which he intended to run...despite the statutes' mandate that he appoint someone. THAT would've looked stupid and selfish because he's a shoe-in to win. Of course, despite our hopes that conservatives would take that approach based on their "say anything strategery"...you know, since it would be insane in this political climate to argue against holding an actual election...it appears you've instead opted for the "outright lie" approach. Kudos...you got the law and facts wrong but did a heroic job of making it up all by yourself to suit your whims.

    July 13, 2010 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  7. Johnny DC

    Democrat governance, at its best:

    John Kerry leaves his Senate position to run for President. To avoid Romney picking a Republican, the Democratic state lawmakers pass an emergency law to require a vacant seat until a new election, stripping power from the governor.

    A few years later, with a Democrat governor, they want to bypass the election and allow Patrick to pick a Democrat to replace the late Ted Kennedy, replacing the power back to their governor.

    Now the Senator Byrd dies. The WV law says a new election has to happen. The governor immediately convenes some kind of special law session to try and bypass the law to allow him to appoint his Democrat friend.

    Is this how Democrats operate, while trying to pin corruption and circumvention on the GOP alone?

    This is sickening abuse of power. There's no denying it, Libs.

    July 13, 2010 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  8. Gale

    Hopefully, his choice is not looking for long term employment!

    July 13, 2010 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  9. Chris

    You don't need to bold your words to make a point. Relax. They need to get someone in office before the senate leaves again on July 30 for their "end of august recess" until October 8.

    Everything is liberals vs conservatives or republicans vs democrats...Meanwhile the public suffers. People in their general opinions on these comments are just as bad...

    Get back to work and start making some decisions on topics that are facing this country. AND this is something that republicans and democrats should both be motivated to do.

    You guys should be outraged that your tax dollars are paying for these people to sit in the capital building and make no decisions on any topics. By the time they stop dragging their feet, It will be time for the August Recess.

    Most people in this country get one day off for July 4th. Not Weeks. If you were so concerned about who to appoint, maybe they should have done it while the senate was out on recess, like any smart individual would have proposed. Why not get a new senator before the meetings actually resume. Would make too much sense?

    July 13, 2010 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  10. hypocricnnation

    Well Let's Just Hope That They Get It Together By Then.

    July 13, 2010 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  11. Heather

    Please! This mean is just making sure that if he appoints someone to Byrd's seat he can still run in November! Meanwhile millions of jobless are still without benefits! I am so sick and tired of this every man for him- self Dems vs. Rep mentality! Honestly both sides suck! Enough with the infighting we are talking about lives here!

    July 13, 2010 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |