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W.Va. Legislature Recesses Without Finalizing Election Bill

The West Virginia Legislature recessed Sunday without passing a bill that would set up a special election for the Senate seat formerly held by Robert Byrd (D), the Associated Press reported.

The legislation would have called for an Aug. 28 primary, followed by a special election Nov. 2. State lawmakers were considering the proposal during a special session, and state officials were unsure whether they could follow the election timetable if the bill was not passed by Sunday.

But the office of Gov. Joe Manchin (D) said it believes the election can proceed if a bill passes Monday, the AP reported.

State lawmakers were trying to resolve several differences between the state Senate’s and House of Delegate’s bills.

Byrd died June 28, and Manchin appointed Carte Goodwin on Friday as a temporary replacement. Goodwin, Manchin’s former general counsel, is scheduled to be sworn in Tuesday.

Manchin is expected to run for Byrd’s seat, and he could declare a special election even without the legislation. Alternatively, Goodwin could finish Byrd’s term. Byrd would have been up for re-election in 2012.

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