(CNN) – Vice President-elect Joe Biden’s former chief of staff, Ted Kaufman, will fill his seat in the Senate, Delaware Gov. Ruth Minner announced Monday.
“His political views are close to Senator Biden’s, and he doesn’t need any on-the-job training,” Minner said in a statement. “He’ll be an effective Senator for Delaware from day one.”
The announcement was made amid rumors that Biden’s son, Beau, would take his father’s place in the Senate. But the Delaware attorney general, who has deployed to Iraq as a captain in the National Guard, said last week that he wouldn’t take the appointment if offered.
While this move was seen by some as a way for the vice president-elect to hold the seat for his son’s potential future run, Biden said Monday he is more concerned about his son’s safety in Iraq than his political career.
“As he said when he deployed overseas, he is determined to fulfill his military obligations and then return to his duties as Attorney General,” he said in a statement. “If he chooses to run for the Senate in the future, he will have to run and win on his own. He wouldn’t have it any other way.”
Biden, who just won his seventh term to the Senate, has to leave his seat before Inauguration Day. Kaufman will be sworn in sometime in the beginning or middle of January.
"It has been pointed out, that I will have limited seniority," said Kaufman in remarks released Monday. "However, having worked in and studied the Senate for 36 years, I can say with confidence that having a relationship with the President and Vice-President will help me to effectively represent the people of the State Of Delaware.
"I also want to make clear that I am very comfortable with retiring after 2 years. I don't think Delaware's appointed Senator should spend the next two years running for office," he added.
Kaufman is currently co-chair of Biden’s vice-presidential transition team and was Biden’s chief of staff for 19 years. He will serve as Senator until a 2010 special election.