Byrd dead at 92 – will WVA declare seat vacant now or on July 3?
That’s the question I’ve seen asked any number of times as I’ve read various pieces on Byrd’s death.
Of course is a sane world, the seat would be declared vacant now, since the moment he died was the moment the seat actually became vacant. But that’s not necessarily how it works in the insane world of party politics.
State law dictates that had Byrd lived until July 3rd, the position would have been filled for the remaining two years and six months by a gubernatorial appointee. But because Byrd died just a week shy of the break point, the remainder of his term will be filled by an interim appointee until a snap election in November.
So, by law (a minor inconvenience, I’m sure), there should be a interim appointee to fill the seat until November when an election should take place to fill the seat on a permanent basis.
Or, a declaration of vacancy could be held off until July 3rd (5 days from now) and a replacement named by the governor to fill the remaining 2 years and 6 months of the term (and then have all the benefits of incumbency when running for reelection).
Now, I’m not saying the governor and Democratic party will play those sorts of politics with this. However, I am saying I wouldn’t be surprised if they did. Given the possibility of strong GOP gains in the Senate this November, the national party may ask the state party (i.e. the governor, etc.) to “do what it can” to keep that seat safe.
Oh, and I found this interesting as well:
“Byrd was born Cornelius Calvin Sale Jr. on Nov. 20, 1917, in North Wilkesboro, N.C. His mother died of the flu in 1918 when he was only 1. At the mother’s request, his father dispersed the family children among relatives. He was given to the custody of an aunt and uncle, Vlurma and Titus Byrd, who renamed him Robert Carlyle Byrd and raised him in southern West Virginia.”
I assume Mr Sale is now surrounded by his other kleales, cyclops and grand wizards reminiscing about the good old days when being a Democrat and a member of the KKK wasn’t a “bad” thing.