West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin said Friday that he'll make a decision next week on whether to run for the late Robert C. Byrd's Senate seat.
And he said that "it's highly likely I will."
His comments to The Associated Press at the National Governors Association meeting come a day after West Virginia's top lawyer cleared the way for the governor to declare a special election this fall to fill what remains of Byrd's term.
Manchin sought the legal opinion after joining a growing push to hold a vote earlier than 2012, when Byrd would have faced re-election.
The opinion prompted the governor's chief legal counsel to advise later Friday that Manchin call a special legislative session to clarify state election law.
The 92-year-old Byrd died last week after more than a half-century in the Senate. He had just over 30 months left in his term.
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