The Campaign Spot

An Extra Governor’s Race This Year, in West Virginia

Yes, West Virginia, you will have a special gubernatorial election this year:

West Virginia must hold a special election to choose a governor who will take office by Nov. 15, or within one year of when state Senate President Earl Ray Tomblin began acting as chief executive, the state Supreme Court ruled Tuesday in a unanimous decision.

The justices rejected Tomblin’s stance that the West Virginia Constitution and state law did not set the next vote for the governor’s office until 2012 . . . [because] then-Gov. Joe Manchin had more than two years left in his term when he joined the U.S. Senate in November. Manchin had won a special election prompted by the death last year of Sen. Robert C. Byrd.

As noted earlier, for Republicans, former secretary of state Betty Ireland announced her interest in running at the end of the year, and state senator Clark Barnes also is expressing interest. On the other side of the aisle are a slew of West Virginia Democrats: “Tomblin; House Speaker Richard Thompson; state Sens. Jeff Kessler and Brooks McCabe, Secretary of State Natalie Tennant; and state Treasurer John Perdue.”

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