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Carte Goodwin Appointed to U.S. Senate

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West Virginia Governor Joe Manchin has picked Carte Goodwin, his former general counsel, to assume the seat of the late U.S. Senator Robert Byrd.

During a press conference at the state's capitol on Friday, Manchin noted that Goodwin, 36, is now the nation's youngest-serving senator.

Goodwin, an attorney whose practice includes civil litigation and commercial transactions, according to his firm's website, served under Manchin for four years, from 2005 to 2009. As the Associated Press reports, he comes from well-known West Virginia family.

During his speech on Friday, the governor praised Goodwin's service and dedication, noting his leadership in crafting mine safety legislation following the fatal Sago mine disaster in 2006.

Speaking after Manchin, Goodwin said he hoped to make West Virginia proud, and follow in Byrd's footsteps. "I will try my best to emulate his work ethic and commitment to law, the constitution, and this great state," Goodwin said.

Byrd, who died on June 28 at the age of 92, was the nation's longest-serving senator.

Goodwin will serve as one of the state’s two senators until November, when West Virginia will hold a special election to determine who will finish the remainder of Byrd's term, which expires in 2014. Manchin has already expressed interest in running for Byrd's vacated Senate seat, although he has not announced a formal decision on the matter.