UPDATE: Gov. Tomlin announces appointment to vacant Senate seat

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UPDATE 1/22/15 @2:35 p.m.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Governor Earl Ray Tomblin has announced his appointment to fill the vacant Senate seat.

According to a release, Gov. Tomblin appointed Sue Cline of Brenton in Wyoming County to fill the Ninth District seat.

Cline becomes the second woman to currently serve in the Senate.

Earlier on Friday morning, the West Virginia Supreme Court announced their 3-1 ruling that the vacant seat left by Daniel Hall would have to be filled by a Republican.

Hall was voted into the Senate as a Democrat in 2012 but switched to be a Republican after the 2014 election. He resigned before the 2016 Legislative Session began.

The Republicans will now hold an 18-16 majority in the Senate.

UPDATE 1/22/15 @ 11:30 a.m.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- After a ruling from the West Virginia Supreme Court, Governor Earl Ray Tomblin will have to appoint a Republican to fill the vacant state Senate seat.

On Friday, the Supreme Court announced it's 3-1 ruling that a Republican should fill the seat.

The Supreme Court listened to arguments on Tuesday from both Republicans and Democrats on what to do with the vacant seat left by ex-Wyoming County Senator Daniel Hall.

Hall was voted into the Senate as a Democrat in 2012 but switched to be a Republican after the 2014 election. He resigned before the 2016 Legislative Session began.

Republicans argued that the replacement should be in the party that left the office while Democrats said that the spot should be filled by the party that voters originally selected.

There's no timetable on when Governor Tomblin will fill the seat.

The Republicans will then hold an 18-16 majority in the Senate.

UPDATE 1/19/16 @ 2:10 p.m.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - Democrats and Republicans offered divergent arguments in front of the state Supreme Court about which party should fill a Senate vacancy.

Attorneys for Democrats, Democratic Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, Republicans and GOP Attorney General Patrick Morrisey appeared at Tuesday's hearing.

Ex-Wyoming County Sen. Daniel Hall was elected a Democrat in 2012 and turned Republican after the 2014 elections, establishing an 18-16 GOP majority. Hall recently resigned.

Democratic attorneys said state law is ambiguous about replacing someone who flipped parties. They said a Democratic replacement upholds the will of the voters.

Republican counsel said the statute is clear and voters trusted Hall's judgment, including in switching parties.

A Democratic appointment would deadlock the Senate.

The court has barred an appointment until it rules.

The 60-day legislative session began Jan. 13.

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UPDATE 1/15/16 @ 3:35 p.m.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - The state Supreme Court is suspending an appointment to a key Senate opening until the court rules whether a Democrat or Republican should fill the seat.

The court issued the stay on Friday.

Earlier Friday, Republican Attorney General Patrick Morrisey asked the court for the delay.

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.

Democratic Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin's court filings say he would have appointed a Democrat because it upholds the will of the voters.

A ruling that favors Democrats would deadlock the Senate.



ORIGINAL STORY 1/15/16 @ 1:41 p.m.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - 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.



 
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