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(NECN: John Moroney, Boston) - The impending departure of John Kerry from the U.S. Senate to become Secretary of State creates an all too familiar set of circumstances here in Massachusetts.
"I expect to appoint someone who does not plan to run for the seat because practically I think that is going to be hard for that person to do successfully," said Gov. Deval Patrick.
That's the same thing the governor did after the death of Ted Kennedy, filling the seat until a special election could be held. Patrick says he has spoken to some potential interim candidates, but nothing has decided. Jim Gomes is director of the Mosakowski Institute for Public Enterprise at Clark University.
"Everybody believed during the last special election that the Democratic nomination was tantamount to election. Nobody's going to believe that next time around," said Gomes.
The date for the special election will not be set until after Kerry is confirmed and he submits his letter of resignation. Once that happens, the governor will set the date of the election.
"State law is pretty clear We've been through this now a couple of times already. It's a 145 to 160 day window for a special election," Mass. Secretary of State William Galvin said.
Senator Scott Brown won the last special election, and there's a good chance he'll run in this one as well, having lost to Elizabeth Warren in November. As for potential Democratic candidates, most of the speculation at this time centers on members of the state's delegation in the House.
"Congressman Markey has been in Washington a long time and has thought about running for the Senate before. I think he's be a very strong candidate. Some of the others might be as well," Gomes said.