"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.