GOP Backs Special Election To Field Byrd Successor

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Charleston, W.Va. (AP) -- West Virginia's Republican party chairman is calling on Gov. Joe Manchin and Democratic legislative leaders to change the law to allow for a special election for U.S. Sen. Robert C. Byrd's successor.

The GOP's Doug McKinney on Monday joined a growing list of officials who say the legislature should fix an election law that delays that vote until 2012.

On Friday, Secretary of State Natalie Tennant said voters should be allowed to choose Byrd's successor in November, and the State's Chamber of Commerce endorsed that view on Monday.

Since Byrd's death at age 92 one week ago, there have been questions about who Manchin would appoint to fill the unexpired term and whether that appointee would face a special election.

Byrd's term expires at noon on Jan. 3, 2013.

(Copyright 2010 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

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