West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin wants a November election to fill the Senate seat left vacant by the death of Democrat Robert C. Byrd.
If that happens, Manchin, also a Democrat, says he'll consider running. But he says he will not appoint himself to fill the seat.
State election officials say Manchin should pick someone to serve the remaining 30 months of Byrd's term, and voters shouldn't decide until 2012.
But Manchin said Wednesday he wants an opinion from the attorney general on whether an election can be held this year.
U.S. Rep. Shelley Moore Capito is the GOP's top contender and she also wants voters to decide in November who should fill the seat.