The death of the U.S. Senate's longest-serving member set off a political chain reaction in West Virginia that is sending voters back to the polls Saturday for a special gubernatorial primary, the state's fourth election in 12 months.
It's one of two this month in Appalachian states: Neighboring Kentucky holds its primary Tuesday. Incumbent Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear is unchallenged, while Senate President David Williams faces Louisville businessman Phil Moffett and Jefferson County Clerk Bobbie Holsclaw on the Republican side.
In West Virginia, acting Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin faces five other Democrats. He took over after former Gov. Joe Manchin won a special election for the Senate seat left vacant by the death of Robert C. Byrd. Eight Republicans also are facing off for the party's nomination.
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