W.Va. Officials Pay Tribute To Long-Serving Byrd

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Charleston, W.Va. (AP) -- Beneath a life-sized statue of history's longest-serving U.S. lawmaker, West Virginia officials were paying tribute to Sen. Robert C. Byrd.

Gov. Joe Manchin told a crowd of more than 200 in the state Capitol Wednesday that West Virginians have never lost confidence in the senior senator, who has been in Congress since 1953, with the last five decades spent in the Senate.

Manchin said Byrd was the first politician to ever win a majority of votes in all 55 counties in a contested election.

Manchin says that proves Byrd's appeal to democrats, republicans and independent voters alike.

The tribute to Byrd includes an exhibit in the Capitol.

Photos from throughout his career sit alongside pieces of memorabilia, including his famous fiddle.

(Copyright 2009 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

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