Reports: Kennedy, Bennet Top Picks for Vacant Senate Seats
The successors to the two remaining Senate seats that opened up when President-elect Barack Obama tapped their current occupants for cabinet positions — Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton’s seat in New York and that of Sen. Ken Salazar in Colorado — could be named shortly, according to news reports.
The Rocky Mountain News reports that Denver public schools superintendent Michael Bennet is expected to be named to the Colorado seat by Gov. Bill Ritter, according to two anonymous Democratic sources.
Gov. Bill Ritter is expected to name his U.S. Senate replacement pick on Saturday, ending a brief but frenzied period of speculation about who will take Salazar’s seat. [...]
The selection would be preliminary, since Salazar is not expected to resign his U.S. Senate seat until sometime after Jan. 15, when he faces a confirmation hearing — and later vote — to become President-elect Barack Obama’s first Interior Secretary.
Less definitively, The Associated Press is reporting that New York Gov. David Paterson is “leaning toward” Caroline Kennedy to fill the seat in The Empire State.
Officials say the daughter of the late President John F. Kennedy will be the governor’s choice to fill the New York Senate seat being vacated by Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Two people close to Gov. David Paterson tell The Associated Press they believe Caroline Kennedy will be his choice, but the governor cautions he’s still looking.
The New York Times reports that during a New Year’s Day open house at the executive mansion, Paterson said “It ain’t nothin’ till I calls it.” The quote recalls a statement once made by legendary baseball umpire Bill Klem.
Neither choice is expected to be physically prevented from entering the Senate chamber, if and when they are officially named.