Associated Press Published

Governor to Appoint Dem to Swing Senate Seat Saturday


Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin will appoint a Democrat to a swing Senate seat this weekend unless the state Supreme Court rules otherwise.

The Democratic governor’s court filing Friday says he’ll appoint a Democrat Saturday afternoon. Republicans have a 17-16 Senate majority.

Earlier Friday, Attorney General Patrick Morrisey asked the court to delay the appointment until it rules whether the replacement should be a Democrat or Republican.

The court will hear oral arguments about ex-Sen. Daniel Hall’s replacement Tuesday.

The former Wyoming County lawmaker was elected a Democrat in 2012 and turned Republican after the 2014 elections, breaking a tie for an 18-16 GOP majority. Hall recently resigned.

State law is ambiguous about replacing someone who flipped parties.

Tomblin’s court filings say appointing a Democrat upholds the will of the voters.