Carte Goodwin ’96 selected to fill the late Robert Byrd’s W.Va. Senate seat

Dr. Ken Itzkowitz, Professor of Philosophy, remembers when Carte Goodwin was a student of his at Marietta College in 1990s.
“Carte Goodwin was an outstanding student who was very receptive to what the Marietta College Philosophy major had to offer. He was the kind of student my colleagues and I enjoyed having,” said Itzkowitz, who has been teaching at Marietta since 1989. “He was friendly; he communicated well; he was respectful of others; and he earned the respect and friendship of others in my classes. He enjoyed engaging with difficult ideas. He was the kind of person about whom I heard only positive things.”

Well, the positive things are still being said about Goodwin ’96.
Gov. Joe Manchin named Goodwin, his former chief counsel and a member of a prominent West Virginia family, to succeed the late U.S. Sen. Robert C. Byrd. The announcement came at approximately 2 p.m. Friday (July 16) during a news conference at the West Virginia Capitol.
“We are proud and honored that Marietta College’s own Carte Goodwin has been selected by Gov. Manchin to replace the late Sen. Robert Byrd in Washington, D.C.,” said Marietta College President Dr. Jean Scott. “I am confident he will be an outstanding representative for the State of West Virginia. This is truly an exciting day for the College, and I’m sure the Goodwin family.”
Goodwin, 36, becomes the first U.S. Senator to graduate from Marietta College. The College’s other famous political figures include Charles G. Dawes 1884 (30th U.S. Vice President), Joseph Wilson 1846 (U.S. Congressman from Oregon), C. William O'Neill '38 (59th Governor of Ohio) and William Irwin 1848 (13th Governor of California).
His work at the Capitol began immediately after Manchin won his first term. Goodwin served a full term (2005-09). Goodwin left as Gov. Manchin’s general counsel in January 2009 and returned to private practice as a partner at Goodwin & Goodwin.
Goodwin comes from a family of West Virginia lawyers dating back to the end of World War II.
Goodwin will hold the seat until November. That’s when Manchin wants general election voters to decide who will serve the final two years of Byrd’s term. According to the Associated Press, the Legislature has begun a special session to consider a proposal from Manchin to allow for a fall vote.
Byrd was the longest-serving senator in history when he died last month at 92. Goodwin becomes the youngest at 36 and the first Senator ever born in the 1970s.
Goodwin already has ties to West Virginia’s Senate delegation: his wife, Rochelle ’96, is state director for Sen. Jay Rockefeller.
Goodwin graduated magna cum laude from Marietta College in 1996 and earned an undergraduate degree in philosophy. He then graduated from law school at Emory University in Atlanta in 1999.
“Philosophy is about understanding knowledge, goodness, beauty, and truth in all of its complexity. The fact that Carte studied philosophy makes him a breath of fresh air in a world that doesn’t need any more simplistic answers,” Itzkowitz said. “ I imagine Carte will do well in responding to the diverse perspectives of the people of West Virginia and in representing the people in Washington. If West Virginia wants intelligent representation for the upcoming period, Carte is an excellent choice in this regard.”
He began his legal career as a law clerk for U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Robert King. Goodwin returned home to Goodwin & Goodwin, where he made partner just before entering the political arena.
While at Marietta, Goodwin was involved in a number of activities, including Order of Omega, Delta Upsilon fraternity and lacrosse. He was also a McDonough Leadership scholar, a Rhodes Scholar semifinalist and President of Interfraternity Council. He also served as a Board Member of the College’s Alumni Association from October 2003 to February 2006.
Goodwin is a Mount Alto, W.Va., native, who lives in Charleston, W.Va., with his wife and son, Wesley, 4.