caption="Gov. Deval Patrick is expected to announce the date of the special election to replace Ted Kennedy's seat."]
(CNN) - Two Massachusetts political sources say the Joint Elections Committee in the state legislature plans to hear a Senate succession
bill in just a week and a half.
The decision to consider the measure on September 9, just after lawmakers return from break, highlights the growing momentum to pass a change allowing the appointment of an interim senator to fill the late Sen. Ted Kennedy's seat until a special election can be held to replace him.
Monday afternoon, Gov. Deval Patrick announced a new vote to fill the seat would take place on January 19.
One source close to the Kennedy family said former Rep. Joe Kennedy, whose name has been mentioned as a possible replacement for his uncle, is not eager for the job.
"Joe is reluctant," said the source. "The question is, does the pressure rise to a point where he feels he has to do it? Things here are too new to be able to answer that."
The senator's widow Vicki, who has gone to Maine for a few days following her husband's burial, has also been considered a likely temporary replacement for her husband. The source said that they believed she might consider the post.
"My impression today is that she would take (the appointment) if offered because of his legacy," said the source. "But we all have to remember she has not had time to grieve and in some ways this is just now hitting her. ...... But my gut is if it is offered to her she will take it."
Gov. Patrick said Monday that Kennedy has told him she is not interested in a temporary appointment to the seat. He said they did not discuss specific individuals for the seat.
Other veteran Democrats have been investigating, or having their allies investigate, possible Senate bids.
Reps. Marty Meehan and Ed Markey would bring sizable campaign war chests to a Senate contest, with about $5 million and $3 million respectively, according to the source. Reps. Michael Capuano and Steve Lynch are also considered likely candidates, and have been exploring quietly for some time. Also considered a very likely contender: Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley, whose campaign assets would include her Middlesex County base, statewide experience and probably status as the only Democratic woman in the race.
–CNN's Jessica Yellin contributed to this report
(Updated 3:30 p.m.)