As WVa Legislature goes into special session at noon today on the Senate succession/special election, here's a smart note by Shira Toeplitz at Politico, noting the tough spot possible GOP pick Shelley Moore Capito is in -- she can't run for reelection to Congress and for Senate at the same time, and Democrat Joe Manchin's bill won't clear the way for her, either:
Rep. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), the GOP's best bet for winning the special election to replace the late Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.), will likely have to choose between running for reelection to her House seat and a risky Senate bid this November.
Her quandary became clear Tuesday when West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin, who is assumed to be running for the Senate seat himself, proposed that state lawmakers schedule a special primary in August or September and a special general election for Nov. 2 — the same day Moore Capito is slated to stand for reelection to the House.
While Manchin asked state legislators to fully revise the Senate vacancy laws in a special session later this week, he did not ask them to change the state law that prevents a candidate from running for two different offices on the same ballot. Under that part of state code, Moore Capito would be forced to give up her House seat if she wants to run in a Senate special election on the same day.
UPDATE -- The Capito camp argues the law is not as clear as advertised.
Here's Manchin's official call for a special session of the WVa Legislature at noon today (we linked to his bill yesterday):
I, JOE MANCHIN III, GOVERNOR of the State of West Virginia, by virtue of the authority vested in me by Section 7, Article VII of the Constitution of West Virginia, do hereby call the Legislature of West Virginia to convene in Extraordinary Session at twelve o’clock noon on the fifteenth day of July, two thousand ten, in its chambers in the State Capitol, City of Charleston, for the sole purpose of considering and acting upon the following matters:
FIRST: Legislation relating to vacancies in the office of United States Senator; requiring the State to pay costs incurred in connection with a special election to fill the unexpired term of a United States Senator; authorizing the Governor to fill vacancies in the United States Senate by appointment; specifying when an election is required to fill the unexpired term of a United States Senator; setting forth procedures for the nomination of candidates for an election to fill the unexpired term of a United States Senator; specifying requirements for a proclamation of election to fill the unexpired term of a United States Senator; providing that the Secretary of State may modify dates, deadlines, or procedures where necessary to conduct an election to fill the unexpired term of a United States Senator; and providing that the legislation is effective for any vacancy in the United States Senate occurring on or after June 1, 2010.
SECOND: Legislation to authorize and appropriate the expenditure of public moneys to pay the expenses of this extraordinary session.