Mass. Gov. Patrick says succesion bill likely to advance

The late Sen. Edward Kennedy's (D-Mass.) request to have a quick successor named to fill his Senate seat is a "reasonable request" that could make its was through the Massachusetts legislature quickly, Gov. Deval Patrick (D) said Thursday.

Patrick reiterated pledges he made Wednesday to sign a bill giving him the power to appoint an interim senator, and said he believed that state lawmakers may take up such legislation soon.

"I'm talking regularly with legislative leaders, and they're not, my sense is, in principle opposed to the idea," Patrick said during an interview on MSNBC. "There's a bill actually pending already. The thinking in the legislature is that they might take up the bill sooner" than had been thought, he added.

The proposal would reverse a 2004 law put in place by Democrats in the state house during the presidential election, fearing that then-Gov. Mitt Romney (R) would appoint a GOP candidate to replace Sen. John Kerry (D) in the Senate, should Kerry have won the presidency.

Patrick pointed out that he wasn't then in office, but that the bill to give him the power to appoint an interim senator between Kennedy's death and a special election was reasonable.

"I think it's a very reasonable request, and it was so like Sen. Kennedy to look ahead and around the corner," he said.. "Given the significance of the proposals before the Congress right now, I think it's important to have two senators."