West Virginia Pro-Life Democrat Likely to Run for Robert Byrd’s Senate Seat
by Steven Ertelt
July 9, 2010
Charleston, WV (LifeNews.com) — West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin, a pro-life Democrat, said in an interview today that he will likely announce on Monday that he will be a candidate for the seat following the death of the longtime abortion advocate. Manchin told Politico it is "highly likely" he would seek the seat.
Manchin said the only thing to resolve were procedural matters regarding who would replace him as governor should he leave the position to run for the Senate seat.
I want to make sure theres an orderly flow, he said.
The comments follow on the heels of the West Virginia state attorney general saying Manchin, as governor, has the power under law to determine when a special election will be held to replace Byrd, who passed away after becoming the longest-serving member of Congress in its history.
Democrats had been worried that a special election this fall would make it difficult for them to hold on to the seat, and allow pro-life Republican leaders a better chance of gaining control of the Senate — which they have an outside chance of doing.
But with Manchin as the candidate, he appears to be a shoo-in for the seat, according to a new Rasmussen poll.
The new survey has him leading Republican Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, who is technically pro-abortion but frequently votes for pro-life limits and against tax-funded abortions, 53% to 39%.
While pro-abortion president Barack Obama has a 35 percent approval in the state/ Manchin’s stands at 77 percent.
John McCormack of the Weekly Standard, discussed the developments and a potential Senate race in the state this fall.
He said the big question will be, "Can Manchin effectively keep his distance from national Democrats as the campaign wears on?"
"Sixty-seven percent of West Virginia voters want Obamacare repealed, and the issue could dog Manchin as the campaign wears on. Perhaps Manchin will be able to dodge the issue by taking the illogical Mark Critz position that he would have voted against Obamacare but won’t repeal it," the conservative writer said.
"But I wouldn’t count on it. Critz was aided by Democratic primary turnout, and Republicans could field a much stronger candidate in West Virginia than they did in the Pennsylvania special election," he said.
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