Who will succeed Kennedy?
The two most prominent Central Massachusetts names mentioned are Congressman Jim McGovern and Lieutenant Governor Tim Murray, though the chances of either running is slim, especially if state law doesn’t change to allow the governor to appoint an interim successor. McGovern has more sway in House than he would as a rookie Senator; Murray, despite his huge campaign war chest, is dead set on running for reelection, say his people. Aside from the two potential Kennedys – Ted’s wife Vicky and nephew Joe are most frequently mentioned; either would have the clear emotional edge over challengers – the most likely candidates on the Democratic side include Attorney General Martha Coakley, and Congressmen Michael Capuano and Stephen Lynch, and former Congressman Marty Meehan.
But that doesn’t mean Kennedy’s death won’t have an impact on Worcester politics. Word Wednesday morning was that Governor Deval Patrick may support a change in state law allowing him to appoint an interim Senator to fill in during the several months before an election, and there is potential support from State Senate President Therese Murray for the change. Speculation is that Lieutenant Governor Tim Murray could be considered by Patrick for the seat, should he want it. Such a move would take Murray out of politics after that short term ends, however.