CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Gov. Joe Manchin has chosen former chief counsel Carte Goodwin, a member of a prominent West Virginia family, to succeed the late U.S. Sen. Robert C. Byrd.

Manchin announced Goodwin’s appointment Friday during a news conference at the West Virginia Capitol.

“I am genuinely confident that Carte Goodwin will look out for West Virginia. I know West Virginia is better off since he’s passed this way,” Manchin said.

Goodwin is expected to be sworn in as a senator on Tuesday.

“It will not be easy. There will be a lot of challenges ahead and a lot to learn in a very short period of time,” Goodwin said. “I’m excited about the challenge and looking forward to it.”

The 36-year-old Charleston lawyer would hold the seat until November. That’s when the governor wants general election voters to decide who will serve the final two years of Byrd’s term. 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, the youngest among those considered potential choices, worked on Manchin’s 2004 campaign for governor before becoming his chief lawyer. He served in that post until shortly after Manchin began his second term in 2009, leaving for his family’s law firm.

When sworn in next week, Goodwin will become the youngest sitting senator, according to the Senate historian’s office. The next youngest, Sen. George LeMieux of Florida, is 41 and the average age of senators is 66.

Goodwin already has ties to West Virginia’s Senate delegation: His wife, Rochelle, is state director for Sen. Jay Rockefeller, Byrd’s Democratic colleague.

Rockefeller said Goodwin should not be considered an interim senator.