Long-time West Virginia US Senator Robert Byrd dies

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June 28, 2010

By Kyle Maichle

FAIRFAX, Virginia: Robert Byrd, the longest serving Senator in U.S. history from West Virginia died on June 28, 2010, during the early morning hours at a hospital in Fairfax, Virginia according to a family spokesman[1].

Senator Byrd was first sworn into office as a U.S. Senator in 1959. Before serving in the Senate, Byrd was a congressman representing West Virginia's 6th District from 1952 until his election to the Senate in 1958. In recent years, Byrd has been battling health problems in which has confined the long-time Senator to a wheelchair and forcing him to miss voting sessions in the Senate. Byrd has also casted the most roll-call votes in U.S. Senate history with 18,540[1].

Governor of West Virginia Joe Manchin is required to make an interim appointment to replace Senator Byrd[1]. However, elections experts see a quirk in their election laws that could require a special election for any vacancy in the U.S. Senate lasting over two and a half years. There was exactly two years, six months, and five days left in Byrd's term[2]. Governor Manchin did not issue a statement on how Byrd's successor would be named, but issued a statement offering his condolences to the Byrd family[3].

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