August 20th, 2009
10:21 AM ET
7 years ago

Kennedy urges immediate Senate replacement if vacancy occurs

Sen. Kennedy has written a letter to Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick and other state leaders.

Sen. Kennedy has written a letter to Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick and other state leaders.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Sen. Ted Kennedy, who is battling brain cancer, is urging Massachusetts officials to change a law to allow for an immediate temporary replacement should a vacancy occur for one of his state's two Senate seats.

Under a 2004 Massachusetts law, a special election must be held 145 to 160 days after a Senate seat becomes vacant. The winner of that election would serve the remainder of a senator's unexpired term.

Kennedy, a Democrat who has represented Massachusetts in the Senate for nearly 47 years, was last re-elected in November 2006. His six-year term ends in January 2013.

In a letter to Gov. Deval Patrick and other state leaders, Kennedy said he supports the current law, "[b]ut I also believe it is vital for this Commonwealth to have two voices speaking for the needs of its citizens and two votes in the Senate during the approximately five months between a vacancy and an election."

Read: Kennedy's letter

Kennedy, 77, asks the governor and state leaders to "amend the law through the normal legislative process to provide for a temporary gubernatorial appointment until the special election occurs," according to the letter, dated July 2.

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Filed under: Massachusetts • Popular Posts • Senate • Ted Kennedy
soundoff (176 Responses)
  1. chris

    One would think one of his last acts as a human being would be to urge people NOT TO DRINK AND DRIVE!!

    A selfish bastard, right up to the end. Big

    August 20, 2009 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  2. Obama Victim

    so toss out the law?? well..they did promise "Change"

    August 20, 2009 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  3. AR

    This is completely wrong and shows the arrogance of the Democratic party as well as the Kennedy family. This is an attempt to circumvent the will of the people. The law says a special election is to be held and Kennedy want to change that law to his wishes. Do not let this happen. This country is for the people, of the people and by the people. Let us remain a lawful country and not change for special interest.

    August 20, 2009 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  4. Obama Victim

    what a profound picture.................Dumb......and Dumber

    August 20, 2009 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  5. meet the new boss,same as the old boss

    Right and Left,some people just dont get it,its sad but true.

    August 20, 2009 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  6. jw456

    Kudos to you, Mark, as a Republican with kind words for Ted Kennedy. Very very decent of you.
    –from a Democrat

    August 20, 2009 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  7. Mike

    kennedy,pelosi,reid,frank,waxman and obama are what is wrong with our political system.

    August 20, 2009 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  8. Kennedy is a wise man

    don't wait, plan ahead

    not taking advantage of the voter will now could result in not doing the voter will

    keep the momentum, craft a solid bill for the American people, and GET IT DONE

    August 20, 2009 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  9. twitwits are the new nitwits

    Some people worry about the Liberals taking away their freedom,well they might want to google,"Corporate Fascism" and meet their real enemy.

    August 20, 2009 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  10. Butch/Good News, MA

    And this tactic is a surprise? In 2004, the democratic state legislature over-turned the existing format of having the Governor appoint a replacement if a Senate seat came open. Why? Because Kerry was running for President and Mitt Romney was governor. The state legislature then tried to go back to the governor appointed process late last year after Kerry was being mentioned as a possible candidate for Secretary of State, and the Democrats were worried (and still are) that a Republican would win a Senate seat in a general election. Watch for this to be re-ignited in the coming days. The state will push for the governor to appoint a US Senator when Kennedy steps down. Typical Massachusetts politics. Right up there with Chicago, New Orleans, and New Jersey for corruption.

    August 20, 2009 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  11. Johnny DC

    UNBELIEVABLE. This is unbelievable.

    This law was passed specifically by Democrats, for Democratic gain. Now that the situation has changed and the landscape would favor Republicans, this Democrat wants to change the rule again for their benefit.

    Yet none of you know this? And you still post GOP hate? This is Democrat slimeball behavior, a perfect example.

    August 20, 2009 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  12. th

    The people who are so against the Kennedy's havent been paying attention to all that the Kennedy has been doing to help people who don't have the money to fight for themselves.

    I hope you individuals who are so against health reform lose your insurance and have to deal with what millions of americans are dealing with on a daily basis.

    Republicans are hypocrits, they want to be so religious but when it comes to helping others in need they don't want any part of it.

    August 20, 2009 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  13. Mariann Pepitone

    I did not vote democrat in the presidential election and I will not vote democrat in the next election. They are too underhanded and corrupt and it proves my point with Kennedy who is close to Obama. They are two peas in a pod. This should be a good lesson to the voters of this country to think before they vote again. Listen carefully to the candidate and feel him out when he is speaking. Obama talked change which never existed. We have the same former Washington people in power with a few new additions. Health care reform is a joke. Why is he trying to push it so hard? The government isn't going to pay for it we are the taxpayer and Obama will raise the taxes although he said no increase in taxes. The American people got fooled and they deserve it.

    August 20, 2009 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  14. Andy

    When a Republican governor (Mit Romney) was in place, Ted had the law changed to a general election required to replace a Senator because he didn't want a Republican governor appointing a Republican replacement. Now that a general election is in place, he wants to go back to the Governer's appointment (at least in the short term) to insure that the Democratic govenor can appoint a Democratic replacement until the election can be held. Let's call this what it is. It's not about what's best for the people of his state, it's about protecting the interests of his party. I have always admired the Kennedy's in the same fashion as I admire families with a tradition of military service (like my own). However, I am old enough to know that Teddy doesn't have a tenth of the character of either Jack or Bobby. Realistically, Teddy should have left public life when he drove off the bridge. That aside, he has championed healthcare reform and done some admiarable things but what he is doing now is pure party politics and should not be allowed.

    August 20, 2009 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  15. Rush Goebbels

    I get a my facts from 24/7 am radio hate news and Faux news,I would rather believe lies than the truth because it backs my hateful agenda.

    August 20, 2009 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  16. simplykris

    I don't believe all the hateful comments from the conservative d-bags about an ailing senator. Dont you have grand parents or family members that are old? Show some respect.

    You guys should have been born 10000 years ago. Am sure you would have found your rightful place next to the raptors and the t-rex. you guys are pathetic. pathetic

    August 20, 2009 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  17. Peggy - TX

    In response to an earlier comment, there is no such thing as "political hackery" it is just "politics" by the party you personally oppose. Since, I agree with the proposal, I would prefer to label it as "skillful political manuvering. "

    August 20, 2009 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  18. Fernandez

    Sen. Kennedy- You have done an excellent job in the Senate. Now is the time to resign and let Mass. law take of the replacement.

    August 20, 2009 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  19. Welcome to Rome

    I wonder if the Romans were fighting each other instead of trying to put out the fire in their great city?

    August 20, 2009 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  20. Steve

    Kennedy faught to have the law changed to keep then Governor Mitt Romney from appointing a new he wants the law changed back to let the now Democrat Governor to appoint a new Senator.

    Unbelievable hypocrisy. It's almost laughable...almost. This is why we need congressional term limits.

    August 20, 2009 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  21. awaitingliberalizationbyCNN

    Typical liberal slimeball move to make sure the voice of the electorate is not heard. ACORN must love it. He is doing all of their dirty work for him. Murdering slimeball.

    August 20, 2009 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  22. the latest health care lie

    Now they are trying to fudge the numbers,the next thing they will be telling us is that everyone has insurance and most people are over insured.haha,and 25% of the people will believe them,sad but true.

    August 20, 2009 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  23. addon

    When did republicans become such angry, hateful, vengeful, un-God-like people?

    Even as a man's life comes to the end, we see nothing but insults from these "ring wing" haters.

    It comes to mind that many republicans leave this earth without too much fanfare because there are few people they (the republicans) ever touch in a kind, compassionate and meaningful way. Oh the misery of such an existence.

    August 20, 2009 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  24. Scott

    Instead of Changing Laws, perhaps Ted should set a retirement date 160 days out and the state can hold a special election.

    August 20, 2009 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  25. fellow from chicago

    No way! Wait for the elections. The People need to decide who represents them. Was there nothing learned from the Roland Burris selection.

    August 20, 2009 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
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