Should Joe Manchin leave the WVa governor's mansion after the November Senate election, there will be a long list of people waiting to replace him, the WashPost reports -- top political spots in the state haven't opened up very often. Shelley Moore Caputo is one name among many others (though she would not run in 2011, as her statement today notes):
When Manchin ran for the first time in 2004, he had a leg up by jumping in before then-Gov. Bob Wise (D) announced his retirement, due to an extramarital affair. Sen. Robert C. Byrd was the longest-serving senator of all time, and Sen. Jay Rockefeller and Reps. Nick Rahall and Alan Mollohan have held their seats for the past quarter-century-plus, so there haven't been many opportunities for ambitious politicians.
Other potential Democratic candidates include Secretary of State Natalie Tennant, state Democratic Party Chairman Larry Puccio and even appointed Sen. Carte Goodwin.
The names on the GOP side are basically the same as they are for the Senate race: Capito, wealthy former Senate candidate John Raese and former Secretary of State Betty Ireland.