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Manchin says he'll announce Senate intentions Monday, run likely


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BOSTON — West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin said in an interview with POLITICO on Friday that he would declare his intentions about a Senate run Monday and called it “highly likely” that he would seek the seat previously held by the late Sen. Robert Byrd.

Manchin indicated that the only remaining obstacles left were “procedural” matters regarding who would become governor were he to vacate the position.

“I want to make sure there’s an orderly flow,” he said after the opening news conference here at the National Governor’s Association conference.

Manchin said he would make his announcement next week in Charleston, the state capital.

His comments come one day after the West Virginia attorney general said that state law allowed the governor to call the special election to replace Byrd for this November.

Democrats were nervous after the iconic senator’s death last month about when the election would be held, worrying that contest this fall could imperil their hold on the seat.

But the popular Manchin’s likely run has his party breathing easier and may prompt top state Republicans to bypass the contest.

Manchin’s legal counsel Jonathan Deem also announced Friday that he is advising the governor to address the process for holding a special election in a special session of the state Legislature, in order to avoid any “legal challenge that would undermine or delay the ability of the people to vote in an election.”

“No two lawyers agree on when the election may take place or how the process should be handled,” Deem said. “It is especially clear to me, now that the Attorney General has officially said that he disagrees with the Secretary of State, that the only way to finally put this issue to rest is for the Governor to call a special session.”

I'd be happier if he stayed where he was since I actually think he's been a decent governor, but who knows-maybe he can be Senator without needing everything in the state named after him.
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