August 26, 2009
Special Election To Replace Kennedy Likely in January
Posted: 12:31 PM ET
Sen. Edward M. Kennedy urged Massachusetts lawmakers last week to give Democratic Gov. Deval Patrick the power to name his successor. But with reactions to Kennedy’s proposal mixed – and with the legislature not due back until after Labor Day – it appears for now that Massachusetts will be without a second senator until a special election can be held early next year.
While many states allow a governor to fill a vacant Senate state, Massachusetts Democrats changed their state’s law in 2004 to prevent then Gov. Mitt Romney – a Republican – from naming a replacement for Sen. John Kerry if he had defeated George W. Bush in the presidential race.
Under the 2004 law, the governor must set a special election to fill a vacant Senate seat between 145 and 160 days after the vacancy occurs – meaning, in this case, that a special election would be held in the second half of January 2010.
Filed under: Kennedy
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