BOSTON (WWLP) – Senator Elizabeth Warren isn’t the first Massachusetts Senator to run for president, but if she were to win, her vacant seat is sparking debate on Beacon Hill.
Warren is among 25 Democrats running for their party’s presidential nomination in the 2020 election, and if she wins, the Senate seat she’s held for more than 6 years could be up for grabs.
In Massachusetts, the rules for appointing people to vacant Senate seats have changed several times in the recent past.
Originally, the Governor had the power to appoint someone to fill a seat on an interim basis. But Massachusetts’ Democrat-controlled legislature changed this process when Mitt Romney was Governor to prevent him from choosing a successor for John Kerry.
In 2004, The law was officially changed, mandating a special election take place no later than 160 days after a vacancy occurs.
When Deval Patrick came into office in 2007 the law changed again, giving the power back to the Governor to appoint an interim replacement when Ted Kennedy died.
The Governor still has the power to appoint an interim senator, and as a Republican Baker could see this rule changed by the Democrat-controlled legislature.