[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/08/26/art.devalpatrick.0826.gi.jpg 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.