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Special Election Date Set For Senator Kennedy’s Term

August 31, 2009

Jan 19th, 2010.

Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick (D) has set Jan. 19 as the date for a special election to fill the final three years of Edward M. Kennedy’s Senate term. Patrick also pleaded Monday for the state legislature to allow him to appoint a replacement for Kennedy who would serve until that election.

With speculation swirling around the Kennedy family’s interest in keeping the seat in the family’s hands, Patrick said that the senator’s widow, Vicki Kennedy, has told him she is not interested in either the interim appointment or running for the seat in the January special election. Family friends have reaffirmed that disinterest in recent days.

In trying to avoid a political campaign around the holidays, Patrick established a process that will set party primaries on Dec. 8, before a general campaign of roughly six weeks. Several members of the state’s congressional delegation are weighing their prospects in such a race, as is Kennedy’s nephew, former representative Joseph Kennedy II (D-Mass.). He retired from the House 11 years ago but still maintains a leftover campaign account of $1.8 million, funds that could be legally transferred into a Senate bid.

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