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Bill would end governor's right to fill Senate vacancies

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - The Virginia House of Delegates has approved a bill taking away the governor's authority to make a temporary appointment to fill a U.S. Senate vacancy.

The vote Wednesday comes after Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe faced the prospect of picking a replacement for Sen. Tim Kaine, had running mate Hillary Clinton won the presidential election.

The bill would instead let the governor issue a writ of election to fill the vacancy.

Bill sponsor Daniel W. Marshall says it would return power to voters.

But Democratic House Minority Leader David Toscano says because the bill doesn't set a timeline for when the election must take place, a governor could leave the seat open indefinitely.

The measure still must pass the Senate and be signed by the governor.