The West Virginia Senate has approved legislation aimed at blocking U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin from handpicking his successor if he runs for governor in 2016. The measure approved Sunday on an 18-14 vote would require special elections, not appointments, in cases like Manchin’s. Currently, if Manchin reclaims his old job, the Democrat will have served enough of his Senate term that he, as governor, could name the next senator to serve through 2018.
Manchin first won his Senate seat in a special election after Democratic Sen. Robert Byrd died in 2010. There was also debate then about special elections versus appointments.
The bill now goes to the House of Delegates.