Gov. Joe Manchin has the power to choose when and how a special election will be held for the late Sen. Robert Byrd’s seat, according to an opinion Thursday from state Attorney General Darrell McGraw.
Manchin told reporters Wednesday that he is “highly” interested in running for the Senate seat; the attorney general’s decision puts him in charge of calling for and implementing a special election to pick Byrd’s successor. Byrd died June 28.
“It is the opinion of the attorney general that the power of the governor to proclaim special election carries with it the power to set the date of the election, filing date for candidates and all other election procedures,” McGraw wrote in his official legal opinion on the matter. He also recommended that the primary be held on Nov. 2, the day of the general election.
The full text (in pdf) of McGraw's statement is here.