Carte Patrick Goodwin(born February 27, 1974(1974-02-27)) is an American attorney and Democratic politician who was appointed July 16, 2010, to serve as United States Senator from West Virginia until a special election is held on November 2, 2010 to fill the vacancy created by the death of Robert Byrd. Goodwin is scheduled to take the oath of office on July 20, 2010
Goodwin was born to Stephen Patrick Goodwin and Ellen Carte Gibson and raised in rural Mount Alto, West Virginia. As a teenager, he baled hay in Jackson County. Goodwin graduated magna cum laude from Marietta College in 1996 where he earned a B.A. in Philosophy. He then attended Emory University School of Law in Atlanta, graduating in 1999, after which he clerked for 4th Circuit Judge Robert King. He then joined the family law firm, Goodwin & Goodwin, which was founded shortly after the end of the Second World War and resumed practice in 1970. Goodwin is a member of the honor society Order of the Coif. Many of his family members are lawyers and his uncle is Joseph Robert Goodwin, chief judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia.
Goodwin has a wife, Rochelle, and a son, Wes.
Goodwin served as Governor Joe Manchin's chief counsel during his first term in office from 2005-2009 and was at one time the chairman (designated by Gov. Manchin) of the West Virginia School Building Authority. In 2009, Manchin appointed him chair of the Independent Commission on Judicial Reform, which studied the need for judicial reforms in West Virginia.
In 2008, Goodwin was named one of the "Ten Most Successful Young Executives in West Virginia" by Executive magazine.
On July 16, 2010, Manchin announced that he was appointing Goodwin to the seat vacated by the death of Senator Robert Byrd, until a special election could choose a permanent successor. Goodwin stated that he would not seek election to the seat in his own right, and that he would leave office once a new senator had been elected. Observers suggested that Goodwin had been appointed as a placeholder for Manchin, who had himself expressed interest in running for the seat.