07/16/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Dems Plan For Byrd "Contingencies"

Sen. Robert C. Byrd's state of health has prompted some quiet, behind-the-scenes discussions in the event the senator is unable to return to office.

I understand Gov. Joe Manchin met with state Democratic Party chairman Nick Casey last week, with U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., on a conference call to discuss contingencies.

As noted before, Casey is generally regarded as the consensus choice to serve as a placeholder for Byrd's Senate seat in the event Byrd would have to step down prior to the 2010 elections.

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