Carte Goodwin: 6 Things to Know About W.Va.'s New Senator
Goodwin is considered the deciding 60th vote in favor of the unemployment extension bill that, if passed, will resume federal contributions to unemployment aid for up to 99 weeks. Democratic senators had delayed voting on the bill until Tuesday in anticipation of Goodwin assuming office.
As he prepares for his turn in the spotlight, Surge Desk runs down six other things to know about the new senator with a busy first day ahead of him.
1. He won't be sticking around for too long. One thing's for certain -- Goodwin won't have quite the tenure of his predecessor. Manchin has indicated that he will call a special election in November allowing West Virginia voters to determine who will serve the remaining two years of Byrd's term in office, and Goodwin has said he won't make himself a candidate (conveniently clearing the way for Manchin himself to run).
2. He embodies the term "junior senator." Byrd, the longest serving senator in history, held his seat for 15 years before Goodwin was even born.
3. He and Manchin go way back. Before returning to private practice with family law firm Goodwin & Goodwin in 2009, Goodwin worked as Manchin's chief lawyer. He also worked on Manchin's first gubernatorial campaign, in 2004.
4. He's already a household name -- to West Virginians. Goodwin's father, who passed away in April, previously chaired the West Virginia University board of directors, and his uncle, the Honorable Joseph R. Goodwin (aka "Joe Bob"), is a federal judge. Plus, his wife, Rochelle, is the state director for West Virginia Sen. Jay Rockefeller. After graduating magna cum laude with a B.A. in philosophy from Marietta College in 1996, he picked up a law degree from Emory University and was later recognized on Executive magazine's 2008 list of the "10 Most Successful Young Executives in West Virginia."
5. He's a jock. Standing 6 feet 3 inches, Goodwin was a three-sport athlete in high school, playing football, basketball and running track. He considers himself a die-hard West Virginia University sports fan and once said he decided on going into law when "it looked like the NBA was out of the question."
6. His arrival means Scott Brown "is no longer the only eye candy in the chamber." So wrote The Washington Post's Jonathan Capehart, one of the many observers to comment on Goodwin's looks. Wonkette dubbed him "West Virginia's New Sexy Robert Byrd." Added a commenter at The Huffington Post, more succinctly: "He's a hottie!"