WV law gives Gov. Joe Manchin (D) the power to appoint Byrd's replacement. If a vacancy occurs within 2 and a half years of the beginning of the next term, the governor appoints a replacement until that next election. But state law says an election must be called if a vacancy occurs more than 2 and a half years before a term expires. Byrd's term would have had 2 and a half years left as of next week -- July 3.
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