Manchin, in an exclusive interview with The Logan Banner on Wednesday in Rita after the ribbon-cutting ceremony on the new section of State Route 10 that was opened, said Tomblin will do a good job as governor. Several elected officials, including House Speaker Rick Thompson, who has made it clear he wants to run for governor, are calling for a special election to choose a new governor to serve out Manchin's unexpired term. But, the state constitution does not call for a special election.
Manchin recently went through a special election to win the Senate seat left vacant by the death of long-serving Sen. Robert C. Byrd. The election cost West Virginia tax payers nearly $3 million and another special election in 2011 would reportedly cost the people of W.Va. another $12 million.
Manchin said the voters need to take that high cost into consideration before they call for a special election.
"I think the people need to look at it from the standpoint that it is expensive," Manchin said. "They keep saying two years is too long, but we've had many, many times, when people, for whatever reason, for illness, has left and very capable people move in and take right over."
If a special election is held and a new governor is elected, the new governor would only serve out the last few months of the unexpired term, due to the length of a special election.
Manchin said the interpretation of the State Constitution on the matter has caused some to ask for a special legislative session.
"They keep saying we need to have a special session," Manchin said. "There are conflicting reports and a special session will not cure that. It's going to be either changing and clarifying the Constitution and that would be through a vote and you can't do that in any quick time."
Manchin said he hopes Tomblin can remain governor for the rest of his unexpired term to keep the state moving forward.
"I think he's going to do a great job. The state can't stop," Manchin said. "We're moving so good and Earl Ray has been a part of that."
Manchin said the people can elect a new governor in 2012 when the next gubernatorial election is set to be held.
He said the biggest hangup for Tomblin would be the separation of powers. Tomblin would serve as governor and still hold his senate president's position and some believe that is too much power. Manchin said the courts should determine a separation of powers and allow Tomblin to serve the remaining two years of his term as governor.
"The people will have a chance to speak in May of 2012. There has been some scholars that looked at that. I think what they need to do is get through the separation of powers and it might take the courts to do that," Manchin said.
"What will happen is if the courts will intervene and allow Earl Ray to do the duties strictly as the executive, and that is really what I hope for, and then he can do his job and everybody can get ready for an election in May of 2012 and whoever wins is the person who we will all support and will be our next governor. But, Earl Ray will be the governor as of Monday at about noon. From there, we need to do all we can to make sure the state moves forward and I hope that would be the continuity that we have."