Posts Tagged ‘WV Election Law’

Republicans Are Ready for Capito

Monday, July 19th, 2010

WV Republicans in the Legislature have scored a victory for Rep. Shelley Moore Capito.  The new law provides an opportunity for Capito to run for the Senate seat and for re-election to her House seat if she wants.

Now we know the real hold up in passing the legislation Governor Manchin proposed.

National Review reported Friday Rep. Capito was spending the weekend working on plans for a run if the opportunity presented itself.  The opportunity is here.  She has until Friday to announce her intentions.  Republican sources said today Capito is on the edge of making the race.

It has always been thought there was a close relationship between the Manchin and Moore families.  Capito’s father former Governor Moore represented West Virginia’s first congressional district for years in which the Manchin family resided.  It has been said there would never be a race between Moore Capito and a Manchin. 

That idea was put aside last week when Capito said “that is a myth.”

Should this race materialize it will make political history.  Capito has been a strong voice for West Virginia in Congress and Governor Manchin has brought positive attention to the State.

It appears GOP candidates have a real opportunity in both the First and Third congressional districts.  Electing Capito to the U. S. Senate and two Republicans to the U. S. House of Representatives would be real West Virginia political history. 

Manchin says he will announce his intentions Tuesday morning at 10 AM.

Republicans are on the edge of their seats waiting for word from Capito.

More Details on U. S. Senate Election

Monday, July 19th, 2010

West Virginia is on the scene at the Capitol and has provided more details on the legislation just passed.

Legislature Passes Senatorial Succession Bill

Monday, July 19th, 2010

After five days the Legislature has passed the bill to allow a special election to select a successor to U. S. Senator Byrd.  Details yet available.

Special Session on Byrd Seat at Impasse

Sunday, July 18th, 2010

The Associated Press is reporting a special election for the Byrd U. S. Senate Seat is in doubt.

Shelley’s Weekend Plans

Saturday, July 17th, 2010

Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito spoke with National Review about her plans for the weekend.  She appears to be taking a serious look at becoming a candidate for the U. S. Senate.  The interview will give phillipsbillboard readers a look at how she is approaching this serious decision.

Governor Releases Succession Legislation

Tuesday, July 13th, 2010

Governor Manchin’s office just release the fine print for the special session of the Legislature on succession.  With the interest being shown by West Virginia voters phillipsbillboard decided to post all the background released minutes ago.

July 13, 2010

Governor Releases Legislation for the Upcoming Special Session
The governor will make an U.S. Senate appointment by 5 p.m. Friday 

Contact: Sara Payne Scarbro, 304-558-2000 or

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Gov. Joe Manchin today released the special session legislation, which will clarify the state code on the succession process for the vacant senate seat left due to the passing of longtime U.S. Senator, Robert C. Byrd.  

The Governor’s legislation coincides with the West Virginia Attorney General Darrell McGraw’s statement last week, which stated the Seventeenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution gives the governor the authority to call a special primary and special general election to coincide with the regular general election this November. The legislation also includes a provision to require the state to pay for the entire costs of both special elections.

“The governor’s bill is very simple,” Jim Pitrolo, Manchin’s director of legislative affairs and policy, said. “We are taking the Attorney General’s opinion and clarifying state code so there can be no doubt as to how the law should be interpreted.  This bill would merely clarify the state code so that there is no question that we could have a special primary and special general election.”

If the legislation is passed, then the governor can proclaim an election this November to fill the U.S. Senate seat, which would include a special primary election, probably to be held in August or September.

“We are releasing the bill to legislators and the public today for discussion and comment,” the governor said. “Releasing the bill early should give legislators enough time to give it a full and thorough review. Secretary of State Natalie Tennant informs us that absolutely every day counts if we are going to be able to have a special primary election.”

There are various election deadlines, some that are in federal law and cannot be waived, that the state must follow in order to hold a valid special election that includes a primary. The governor and the secretary of state have been meeting with a bipartisan group of county clerks to outline the process for a special primary and special general election.

“If we wait too long, all West Virginians will not be able to select their party nominee at the polls, and we would be forced to utilize a party convention or other form of candidate selection to choose nominees for the election. Because of this, Gov. Manchin will ask the Legislature to consider suspending its rule that a bill must be read on three separate days so that the legislation can go into effect quickly and the state can begin preparing for a special primary,” Pitrolo explained.

Gov. Manchin will call the Legislature into special session to consider the legislation starting noon Thursday, July 15. In addition, The governor is expected to make an appointment, to fill the seat temporarily, by 5 p.m. this Friday.

To review the draft legislation, please see the following link:


To review the bill summary, please see the following link:


To review Attorney General’s opinion, please see the following link:


The Fix

Saturday, July 10th, 2010

Across the nation the process and politics to send another West Virginian to the United States Senate is receiving  attention.  The Fix, a Washington Post Political News and Analysis column is one of the most interesting.

Democrat and Republican operatives as well as West Virginia voters will find this fascinating.  The members of the Legislature may be in for the most usual special session ever.

McGraw Issues Fast Opinion

Thursday, July 8th, 2010

Attorney General Darrell McGraw in less than a day has responded to Governor Manchin’s request for a legal opinion of the succession process to fill the vacancy left by the passing of Senator Robert C. Byrd.

Secretary of State Natalie Tennant had offered her opinion just after Byrd’s death.  She took the position the voters of West Virginia would have no voice in the matter until 2012.  This was certainly unacceptable to most everyone. 

When it became clear voters s wanted an election this year Tennant quickly sided with them. She asks the state election law be changed to accomplish that objective.  McGraw’s opinion says the Governor can by proclamation set the date for a special election – even this year.

Tennant as the Chief Election Officer of WV will likely find her reluctance to hold an election in 2010 an issue with voters if she seeks re-election is 2012.  It seems Ms. Tennant should have asked the Chief Attorney for the State what he thought before she spoke.

Governor Manchin issued a statement from Boston where he is attending the National Governors Association’s (NGA) Annual meeting this weekend.  Manchin is to become NGA chairman.  The statement is below.

“I appreciate the Attorney General for rendering such a swift reply in accordance to my recent request seeking his opinion on the state’s succession law to fill the vacancy left by the passing of our beloved U.S. Senator Robert C. Byrd.

“The Attorney General has determined that, in his opinion, a special election to fill the vacancy may occur before 2012 and may occur in conjunction with the general election this November.

“In light of this opinion, I plan to speak with the state’s legislative leadership immediately to determine how we will further proceed in order to reach a conclusion to this matter.”

The Incumbent Protection Act

Sunday, July 4th, 2010

While a change in the election law may be at hand to fill the seat of the late Senator Byrd I would like to urge “The Incumbent Protection Act” be amended.  That is my name for how vacancies in nominations are filled (Section 3-5-19).

Current law says if no one files for an office or withdraws after the filing period the political parties can only appoint a candidate “no later than thirty days after the last day to file a certificate of announcement….”  This is not fair to either party or to our citizens.

To me the law was written to protect incumbents from both parties at the state and local level.  Incumbents normally have the advantage in a primary and come out successful.  I recall years ago political parties had an opportunity after the spring primary to place candidates on the ballot before the November election. 

We should return to this approach.  Circumstances changes after a primary… new people emerge, new issues develop and the office in question may benefit from a candidate possessing different qualifications. 

There is nothing more important than the two party system.  A change in this law will benefit that system, provide a greater choice to voters and likely strengthen the local political committees

How Did We Get Section 3-10-3?

Sunday, July 4th, 2010

Many of us in the political business have been consulting the election laws of West Virginia in recent days.  Reading Section 3-10-3 leaves you wondering where this concept originated. 

Political columnist Phil Kabler for The Sunday Gazette-Mail took time last week to do the research.  Readers will find this fascinating.

Phil, good job.