Earlier today, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick set a special election for January 19, 2010 to fill the seat vacated as a result of Ted Kennedy's death last week.
The primaries for this election will take place on December 8th.
Patrick is looking however to name an interim Senator and will try to get the blessing of the Massachusetts legislature. You will recall the Massachusetts legislature took this power away from then Governor Mitt Romney when it was feared he would appoint a Republican in the event John Kerry won the 2004 Presidential election.
Personally, I don't have a problem with Patrick naming someone on an interim basis. I just want to live in a state where it would have been O.K. for Romney or any other Republican to do the same.
There is now speculation that former Congressman Joe Kennedy, Ted's nephew, will seek the seat. Kennedy is presently the Executive Director of Citizen's Energy, the non-profit corporation that takes oil from Hugo Chavez. But if Kennedy opts not to run it is widely believed Democratic Congressmen Ed Markey and Michael Capuano might throw their hats in the ring. Their fellow Massachusetts Democratic Congressman Stephen Lynch as well as Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley are expected to run whether or not Kennedy gets into the race.
As for the GOP, your guess is as good as mine. Mitt Romney isn't running. That's no surprise. I don't think he'd win which would jettison any ambitions for the White House.
As for Joe Kennedy, I can understand the sentiment in his favor but I don't think he should get the seat just because of his surname. I mean what chance would he have if his name were Joseph Patrick?