Politics & Government

West Virginia governor appoints Byrd's Senate successor

Carte Goodwin, a 36-year-old attorney, will be sworn in as U.S. senator from West Virginia Tuesday, replacing the late Sen. Robert Byrd.

Gov. Joe Manchin announced Friday the appointment of Goodwin, his former chief legal counsel, until a special election can be held. Byrd died on June 28. He was 92 and the longest-serving senator in U.S. history.

Goodwin, a Democrat, will give the party control of 59 seats. Fifteen minutes after he's scheduled to be sworn in, Senate Democrats will try to end extended debate on a plan to provide extended unemployment benefits to workers. They were one vote short two weeks ago.

Goodwin was counsel to Manchin from 2005 to 2009, and chaired the Governor's Advisory Committee on Judicial Nominations. He also chaired the West Virginia School Building Authority and served as a member of the State Consolidated Public Retirement Board.

Since returning to private practice last year, Goodwin has chaired the Independent Commission on Judicial Reform, which, along with former Supreme Court Justice, Sandra Day O'Connor, looked at the need for revamping the state's judicial system.

"Carte understands the legislative process and has written legislation. He understands the importance of bringing people together in order to bridge differences. He is a tireless worker and has an unwavering love for, and devotion to West Virginia," Manchin said in a statement.

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Gov. Manchin's announcement of Carte Goodwin

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