Gov. Joe Manchin says he's trying to salvage legislation that would allow a vote this fall on the late Robert C. Byrd's U.S. Senate seat.
But Manchin told The Associated Press on Monday that he is not ruling out declaring a special election without a bill. He may also allow temporary appointee Carte Goodwin to serve out Byrd's term if the measure fails.
The governor says he's working until the last minute to save his stalled proposal. Officials say it must pass Monday to clear the way for a fall primary and general election vote.
Manchin also criticized lawmakers who say the bill gives too much power to Secretary of State Natalie Tennant. Her office would oversee any special election.