August 27th, 2009
09:11 AM ET
9 years ago

Patrick supports Kennedy's wish for interim senator

Patrick supports appointing an interim senator.

Patrick supports appointing an interim senator.

(CNN) - Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, a Democrat, told CNN Tuesday he supports the late Sen. Ted Kennedy's wish to appoint an interim senator to serve during the five months before a special election is slated to be held.

Calling the proposal "eminently reasonable," Patrick told CNN's Larry King. "Massachusetts needs two voices in the United States Senate, especially at a time of momentous change like this."

Under current Massachusetts law, a special election must be held 145 to 160 days - about five months - after a Senate seat becomes vacant. The winner of that election serves the remainder of a senator's unexpired term.

Last week, Kennedy - who died Tuesday at age 77 after serving nearly five decades in the Senate - urged that the law be changed to allow the governor to appoint a temporary replacement until the special election can be held.

Patrick also said he has no interest in running for the post itself.

Follow Alex Mooney on Twitter @awmooneyCNN

Filed under: Deval Patrick • Ted Kennedy
soundoff (106 Responses)
  1. No Incumbents 2010

    Gov. Patrick should obey the law and immediately set the date for the special election. Why is that so difficult?

    August 27, 2009 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  2. Stephen in NY

    That's right... continue the legacy of nepotism and cronyism!

    August 27, 2009 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  3. mdm

    No disrespect to Ted Kennedy, but this is Mass politics at it's finest... after taking the governor appointment away during Kerry's 2004 presidential campaign (Gov. Romney – R), he wants to return to the former law when it's a Democratic governor....

    Could he not have waited at least until after the ceremonies for Kenndey before boraching the subject?

    August 27, 2009 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  4. Language matters

    Did Gov. Patrick actually say "imminently"? The word should have been "eminently."

    August 27, 2009 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  5. Tony

    If this happens, the MA should revolt. This is the epitomy of elitism. Do you think they would change the state law for you or I? NO!

    The other law was pushed through as a partisan issue to stop a republican from naming an interim and now this. This is a typical changing of the rules to accomodate an elite.


    BTW for you whinning Dems, I would feel the same way for a Republican. You live with what you have.

    August 27, 2009 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  6. aproudmemberoftheunpatrioticmob

    This is news? They are democratic liberals, they don't follow laws. Could we have expected anything different? Come on CNN, get real.

    August 27, 2009 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  7. A.B.

    Governor Patrick should not only support the wishes of Senator Kennedy out of respect for him and his legacy, but also out of practical political neccessity of preserving the 60-vote democratic majority. This would help the President Obama and the democrats pass H.R. 3200 with the public option. Furthermore, all Americans who respect and honor Senator Kennedy and his legacy, should support the health reform legislation that he supported and spent his entire political career to achieve. It is unfortunate that Senator Kennedy will not be alive to see his signature policy aspiration realized. However, we all can honor him by making it a reality.

    August 27, 2009 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  8. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    I'm in full agreement. However, this looks just like yesterday's headline involving the same issue . Same pic too, I think.

    August 27, 2009 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  9. Greg

    With all due respect to Senator Kennedy, this is the Democratic leaderships fault. They changed the rules when mitt Romney was Governor so he couldn't appoint a Republican as Senator. They should have thought about this in 2004. Do they change the rules every time a different party is elected as governor?

    August 27, 2009 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  10. haren

    change the law for all governor to appoint same party senator for a vacant seat whether it is republican or democrat and respect election result.

    August 27, 2009 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  11. Tony

    The law says there is a special election in 160 days and there is no interim senator in the time being. Tough cookies, Deval, it's your party that wanted this law five years ago. I plan on exercising MY RIGHT and voting in the senate election in 6 months.

    August 27, 2009 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  12. J.L. n MD.

    Good it is (should be a) good thing for Mass.

    August 27, 2009 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  13. Amy

    It's convenient that Kennedy wanted to change the law AGAIN after he changed it back in 2004 when Kerry was running for president and Mitt Romney was a Republican Governor. Just another way he twisted his power and politics to suit him best. What a way to go out Teddy!

    August 27, 2009 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  14. Rick In OP

    I am sure Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick would love to the see the law changed (again) so he could appoint a replacement for Sen. Kennedy. Based on the example set by former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, evidently you can sell that seat for a lot of money.

    August 27, 2009 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  15. Mark

    Kennedy and the Massachusetts democrats are the ones that changed this law in the first place in 2004 to avoid then governor Mitt Romney apointing a replacement for John Kerry in the event he won the Presidency. What hipocracy and absolute disregard for the law that you would change it back and forth at a whim to suit your needs.

    August 27, 2009 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  16. Keith Murphy

    You've got to be kidding me. This law was just changed in 2004 – AT KENNEDY'S urging – so that the governor did not appoint a replacement senator if Kerry won the election. Gee, do you think maybe it had something to do with the fact that Mitt Romney (R) was governor, and Teddy wanted to ensure that no Republican was named for the seat?

    Such naked partisanship and manipulation is shameful. CNN, why didn't you report on the 1994 change made at Kennedy's demand?

    August 27, 2009 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  17. Blembergmd

    Amazing! How can the Democratcs do this and remain credible. Change the law every time it suits them politically! That is democracy at work.

    August 27, 2009 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  18. Cromwell

    I think that every State should amend it's Constitution to say that whenever a vacancy occurs among their Senators, the State Legislature will assemble as soon as possible and choose a replacement.

    August 27, 2009 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  19. Jeff Edmondson

    It's interesting how the more liberal Massachusetts legislature created this law to prevent what they now are wanting to do. Live according to the rule of law you created! Don't change it because it's inconvenient to you now. That's they height of hypocrisy!

    August 27, 2009 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  20. Ryan

    Another partisian attempt and another desperate move for the democrats. With Kennedy's death comes NO super majority. Of course CNN omits the fact that Kennedy himself changed the rule when Kerry was running for president so Gov Romney could not pick a replacement. Amazing how now it's okay for that to happen.

    I CAN'T WAIT TIL 2010....AND THEN 2012!!!

    August 27, 2009 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  21. concerned voter

    Absolutely horrendous. Too bad was the one against this happening, of course until he knew he was dying. What a surprise.

    August 27, 2009 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  22. bush VICTIM

    God Bless you Senator Kennedy.
    What is the republican health care plan? Why are they obstructing reform? What did they do the last 8 years regarding reform?

    August 27, 2009 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  23. Thomas

    MA needs to abide by their own laws.

    When there was a Republian gov, the Democrats changed the law to prevent Mitt from selecting a GOP replacement if Kerry was elected president.

    Now that there is a Democratic Gov, it is not right to change the laws again to allow the Democrats to select a replacement for the Senator.

    You can't have it both ways. Either the gov (democrate or republican) can appoint a replacement or the gov can't. It can't be based on which political party they belong to.

    The law was changed in 2004, now MA needs to stick with it.

    August 27, 2009 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  24. republicans are evil!

    A true leader who cared for the people not the rich like the republicans do. Why would any sane person be against health care reform?

    August 27, 2009 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  25. Gus

    "imminently reasonable" – please, it is nothing more than gaming the system once again! Remember it was Kennedy and the dems that changed the law just 4 years ago. Now they want to change it again – solely to meet their desire to maintain their power. No wonder the approval rating for politicians is so pathetic.

    August 27, 2009 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
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