The Governor better check WV’s laws. If Byrd had checked out 7/3/10 or later, he could appoint someone.
Since Byrd checked out early, they have to have a special election.
Anyone from WV can confirm?
He can appoint a successor until an election is held. The question is will he have to call a special election, or can he wait until 2012 when Byrd’s term is up. The law requires a special election when a vacancy occurs with more than two and one half years before expiration of the term. Since Byrd’s term expires January 3, 2013, a special election seems in order. However, that all depends on the meaning of the word “vacancy”.
Just heard on a state-wide talk show that the Secy. of State’s office is working on this and will release a statement later today.
Here’s what I gathered from a quick review of WV statutes posted on another forum:
1. If Byrd had died after July 3 the appointment by the governor would be for the remainder of the term (Jan 2013)
2. Since Byrd died before July 3, the gov still gets to appoint, but there has to be a special election, and the appointed person serves until that special election.
3. Since the 2010 primary has already happened, there will be primaries and a general election in 2011 to fill the seat for the remainder of the term.