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Massachusetts: replacing Kennedy

AP reports: People in Massachusetts suddenly are thinking the unthinkable: Who possibly could succeed Sen. Edward Kennedy, patriarch of the famed political family that has dominated the state for more than four decades? ...

Unlike most states, Kennedy's successor would be chosen by a special election, not the governor.

State law requires a special election for the seat no sooner than 145 days and no later than 160 days after a vacancy occurs. The law bans an interim appointee.

The law was changed in 2004, when Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry became the Democratic presidential nominee and Romney was governor. Before the change, the governor would have appointed a replacement to serve until the next general election. -- Thinking the unthinkable: Who follows Ted Kennedy? : NPR

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