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Response to Art_from_Ark (Reply #67)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 11:07 PM

124. Under Massachusetts law, yes, there would be a special election.

 

The Governor appoints an interim replacement, not one to serve out the full term. A special election must be held within a certain time (maybe 145 days? I forget the exact limit).

After Ted Kennedy died, Governor Patrick appointed Paul Kirk to the seat. A special election was held a few months later, in which Kirk did not run. It was in that special election that Republican Scott Brown defeated Democrat Martha Coakley. Thus, Kirk ended up serving for less than four months.

The law requiring a prompt special election was passed in 2004, with an eye on the possibility that Kerry would win the Presidency and that Romney, then the Governor, would be able to appoint a Republican to that seat. One idea that's been floated is that the heavily Democratic state legislature might change the law back. Now that the Governor is a Democrat, a broader appointive power looks better to the legislators than it did in 2004.

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LineLineLineLineLineLineReply Under Massachusetts law, yes, there would be a special election.
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