Sen. Robert Byrd’s passing has left a vacant seat in Congress. Joe Manchin, West Virginia Governor chose Carte Goodwin, “attorney and political confidante,” to temporarily fill the seat on Friday and said “he’ll push to hold a special election this November to fill the remaining two years of the term” reports CNN.
Special elections could be held as early as November and the Governor himself “has expressed interest in running for the seat” reports CNN. Governor Manchin is a very popular two-term Governor who would likely be an early favorite in the election. His potential contender, Republican Representative Shelley Moore Capitol is very dissatisfied with the process.
Robert Byrd died last month at the age of 92 and was the “longest-serving member of Congress” according to USA Today serving 57 years. He will now be replaced with the youngest in which, most are saying is a historic event in which one Senator is passing his torch to a new generation.
Democrats will gain a great advantage regarding the appointment of Goodwin. Senate Democrats have had a difficult time obtaining the necessary 60 votes to pass legislation and this could be a turning point. Goodwin will return the advantage to the Democrats in the Senate to 59-41. Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-West Virginia, stated “Democrats are expected to pass an unemployment benefits bill that has been blocked by the GOP leadership” reports USA Today.
Democrats are hoping to use Goodwin to pass legislation to extend job benefits “to the long term unemployed, a measure they hope will spur economic growth before the November congressional elections” reports CBS News.
Governor Manchin has said that Goodwin “embodies the independence and hard work West Virginians want” reports Aaron Blake of the Washington Post. Manchin will be the favorite in the special election and will be an “instant frontrunner” when it is time for the seat to be filled permanently.
Goodwin will greatly be an asset when sworn into office and has a lot of political leverage. He served on the Governor’s counsel and has merged multiple aspects of his life into politics. His father “chaired West Virginia University’s board of governors and…his wife served as a top aide for Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va)” reports Aaron Blake.
Until the Senate seat is permanently filled, Carte Goodwin has vowed to “make West Virginia Proud” reports CNN.