If a bomb had dropped on Power Park last night, the West Virginia Democratic Party would look just like the West Virginia GOP. Practically every Democratic mover and shaker was there, and the media were asking questions and the cameras were recording. I wondered where the red carpet was! It was amazing how many cameras surrounded Governor Manchin when he was talking to Nick Casey. But within a matter of minutes, rumor had it that Nick Casey was second on Joe Manchin’s “list of two” for Byrd’s seat appointee options.
Carte Goodwin is who numerous elected officials told me last night Manchin would appoint to fill Byrd’s seat. We’ll know for sure by 5pm tomorrow for sure. Also, several legislators were discussing what to do after the election law is clarified for Byrd’s seat: aka what to do about West Virginia’s next governor! Obviously, current Senate President Tomblin would be acting governor. But this doesn’t help Rep. Shelley Moore Capito.
And speaking of Capito, she’s in Charleston and has had numerous long-lasting meeting with her chief political consultant, Kent Gates. Before Byrd’s passing, I heard she was eager to see whether or not Senator Rockefeller would run for re-election in 2014. Her statements to date seem to be shaky and unsure, but I can’t tell if she’s waiting for a groundswell of Republican support or if she just doesn’t want to run against Manchin. If she does run against him for Byrd’s seat and loses (numerous polling show she will lose), she would be able to analyze those votes and see what areas of the state she needs to target stronger campaign efforts.
Within a matter of 36 hours, we’ll know who Governor Manchin is appointing, and I suspect the election law will be amended and we’ll know who is running for Byrd’s seat... and I imagine by the end of next week we’ll know who is running in a special election for Governor. There will many long hours at the Capital and many late night, closed-door discussions...I think I’ll have to wear flats.