August 26th, 2009
02:48 PM ET
13 years ago

Patrick supports changing law to allow for interim senator

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Gov. Deval Patrick is in favor of a state law that would allow him to appoint an interim replacement."]

(CNN) - Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick said Wednesday he is in favor of a change in state law supported by the late Sen. Ted Kennedy that would allow him to appoint an interim replacement to fill the state's vacant Senate seat.

Under current Massachusetts law, a special election must be held 145 to 160 days after a Senate seat becomes vacant, with the winner serving the remainder of the former senator's unexpired term.

"I believe that the senator's request to permit the governor to appoint someone to serve for that five months until a special election was entirely reasonable," Patrick said in an interview with Boston radio station WBUR. "I think particularly now when you think about the momentous change legislation that is pending in the Congress today, Massachusetts needs two voices. "

Asked if he would push the state legislature to make that change, Patrick said he would, and that he would sign the bill into law.

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.

Filed under: Deval Patrick • Ted Kennedy
soundoff (105 Responses)
  1. Jane/Seattle

    Good! We need that 60th Democrat to get things done against the idiocy of the Republican hate machine. This is a good development for sure.

    August 26, 2009 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  2. Bob in Pa

    Hypocrisy at its greatest. The man hasn't even been buried yet.
    Shame on you Deval Patrick !

    August 26, 2009 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  3. Rob

    What a shocker! So Kennedy started the special election and now a dem governor is in office its, lets change it for ol' teddy. This makes me sick.

    August 26, 2009 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  4. Pete

    So the Governor is willing to change the law so that he himself can appoint someone rather than having an election. What a bunch of crap.

    By the way, in Minnesota we only had one voice for 6months until Frankin could finnaly steal his Senate seat and we did just fine.

    Have an election and quit the crazy talk about changing the long standing law.

    August 26, 2009 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  5. Cal

    The Dems changed the law to favor their status in 2004, now they want to change it back to push their agenda; what a slap in the face to America!!

    August 26, 2009 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  6. Edwin

    All politics aside, I think it is perfectly reasonable for a governor to appoint a temporary Senator - otherwise a state loses representation for several months.

    August 26, 2009 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  7. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Yes!!! Kennedy spent 50 years of his life serving his country in the Senate, the crowning glory of his career would've been the passage of healthcare reform. Let the state of Massachusetts at least vote the way Kennedy would've voted in regards to this issue.

    August 26, 2009 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  8. Dave in Illinois

    And this is news? He's a Democrat. He loves President Obama. He obviously would love to ingratiate himself with the President and the Kennedy family by making the right choice for Senator Kennedy's successor. What other position would he possibly take?

    And, if worse comes to worse and his approval rating keeps sinking even after this announcement, he could just appoint himself to the seat.

    August 26, 2009 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  9. carlo

    People can call it whatever they want, but Ted Kennedy is the most influential Senator of our time, and definitely one of the most respected politicians of our time. I know some people hate all things liberal, but I really wish people would let this one go.

    August 26, 2009 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  10. 60's survivor

    a reasonable request

    August 26, 2009 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  11. Mike

    When there was a repub. gov. and Kerry might have been elected, Kennedy made a huge deal that we can not allow a gov. to replace the senator (because he'd replace with a repub.) now that a Dem. is the gov. and he knew he wasn't going to live much longer and there would be an open seat, he didn't want to risk an election, so let the dem. gov. replace me, hypocracy at its finest

    August 26, 2009 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  12. GI Joe

    Very good. Those of us who have worked minimum wage, or barely above, most of our lives and have never asked for a handout are in a "war" against the Republicans who are funded by the Major Insurance Companies in this country. We need every voice we can get.

    Thank you Governor.

    August 26, 2009 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  13. Patty

    The death of Senator Ted Kennedy is a great loss to Massachusetts, the Senate, the USA and the World. I support changing the law to appoint someone to represent Massachusetts for the next five months. Full representation is necessary now.

    August 26, 2009 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  14. JerseyMike

    How dare they adjust the law to suit their agenda. If there was a Republican in the govenor's seat you wouldn't hear about this at all. They'd fight to keep it vacant. Someone needs to stop these democrats before they run roughshod over the country and destroy every law in the face of their liberal agendas.

    August 26, 2009 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  15. single mom

    Hoisted on their own petard!
    You made the rules, Democrats, now stick to them.

    August 26, 2009 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  16. Jimmy the Greek

    Wow – I guess it's the new "thing" to simply CHANGE laws which are inconvenient rather than FOLLOWING the law?

    Until the law gets changed.... Mass should be REQUIRED to hold an election as stated under current laws at THIS TIME.

    August 26, 2009 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  17. rr

    Does Roland Burris have a brother in Massachusettes?

    From what I understand, Patrick isn't very popular. Besides, he'd probably just appoint someone whose last name is Kennedy.

    August 26, 2009 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  18. southerncousin

    Liberals change the laws to suit liberals and screw the hard working tax payer for the benefit of the non working dope smokers , ACORN and the unions Massachusetts, heavily in debt because of the liberals and the unions is a great example. Lie, cheat and steal. Go libs.

    August 26, 2009 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  19. Truth-Bomb Thrower

    We're democrats. We don't make laws because they are the right thing to do. We make laws because they suit our purposes at the time........and then we change them when they NO LONGER suit our purposes. WHAT A BUNCH OF CORRUPT SELF-SERVING HYPOCRITES!!

    August 26, 2009 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |

    Massachusetts, why not just strike out all your laws and not be bothered with having to change them at your whims to suit your purposes? What the devil kind of democracy is that?

    August 26, 2009 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  21. Matt of Boston

    Corruption is thy name Massachusetts.

    August 26, 2009 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  22. JerseyMike

    oh OK, i get it. Rules only apply to Republicans. Democrats can do whatever they like as long as they blame it on their agenda.

    When Patrick loses re-election because he's destroying RomneyCare make sure you change the law back because you wouldn't want a Republican being seated by a Republican governor now.

    The Democrats make me sick.

    August 26, 2009 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  23. Paul from Phoenix

    The Kennedy legacy lives! Change the laws to suit your own needs!

    Watch, the Dems are excited to use Ted's death as a rallying cry for their health care garbage bill!


    August 26, 2009 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  24. Come on Libs

    Come on this is so silly, the LAW is the LAW so follow it! Gov. Patrick you took an OATH to uphold MA laws so do it.

    August 26, 2009 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  25. Shall we pray

    Yet another LIB trying to play GOD

    August 26, 2009 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
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