CHARLESTON, W.Va., July 7 (UPI) -- West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin said Wednesday he would consider running in a special election in November to fill the U.S. Senate seat of the late Robert Byrd.
"Two and half years for me to appoint someone to replace this giant, Robert C. Byrd, is far too long," Manchin, a Democrat, said Wednesday, adding that he has asked the state's attorney general to file an opinion on West Virginia's election code before a decision on a special election is made, The Hill reported.
Manchin rejected outright some labor and business groups' suggestions that he appoint himself to the Senate, saying: "I believe in the power of the vote. I believe in the election process."
West Virginia hasn't had an open Senate seat in 26 years. Byrd, who died last week, was serving his ninth term in the Senate; Sen. Jay Rockefeller, also a Democrat, is currently in his fifth term.