West Vir­ginia’s gover­nor se­lects a sen­a­tor

Austin American-Statesman - - WORLD & NATION - By David Lightman

WASHINGTON — Carte Good­win, a 36-year-old lawyer, will be sworn in Tues­day as U.S. sen­a­tor from West Vir­ginia, re­plac­ing the late Sen. Robert Byrd.

Gov. Joe Manchin on Fri­day an­nounced the ap­point­ment of Good­win, his for­mer chief le­gal coun­sel, un­til a spe­cial elec­tion can be held.

Byrd, who died June 28, was 92 and the long­est-serv­ing sen­a­tor in U.S. his­tory. Good­win will be­come the youngest cur­rent sen­a­tor.

Good­win, a Demo­crat, will give the party con­trol of 59 seats. Fif­teen min­utes af­ter he’s sched­uled to be sworn in, Se­nate Democrats will try to end de­bate on a plan to pro­vide ex­tended un­em­ploy­ment ben­e­fits to work­ers. They fell one vote short two weeks ago.

While Good­win seems likely to help the Democrats break that stale­mate, he sounded less open to a com­pre­hen­sive en­ergy bill than Byrd did. Good­win crit­i­cized en­ergy leg­is­la­tion that the House passed last year.

“You don’t have to live too far from earshot of any ra­dio or news­pa­per to know how strongly West Vir­gini­ans feel about that is­sue and how im­por­tant it is that we pro­tect our econ­omy and pro­tect our jobs,” Good­win said.

Coal min­ing is a ma­jor in­dus­try in West Vir­ginia, and many fear it won’t thrive un­der the en­ergy bill.

Se­nate Democrats sig­naled re­cently that they were look­ing to pass a more mod­est en­ergy mea­sure.

Good­win was coun­sel to Manchin from 2005 to 2009, and he was chair­man of the Gover­nor’s Ad­vi­sory Com­mit­tee on Ju­di­cial Nom­i­na­tions. He also led the West Vir­ginia School Build­ing Author­ity and was a mem­ber of the State Con­sol­i­dated Pub­lic Re­tire­ment Board.

“Carte un­der­stands the leg­isla­tive process and has writ­ten leg­is­la­tion. He un­der­stands the im­por­tance of bring­ing peo­ple to­gether in or­der to bridge dif­fer­ences,” Manchin said.

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