Patrick Sets Special Election

Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick has set a special election for Jan. 19 to find the successor to Senator Ted Kennedy. A public hearing will be held September 9 to determine whether or not state law can be changed so Patrick can name an interim replacement before the special election, which was one of the senator's last wishes, and which Patrick has termed a "reasonable request." Democratic senators are eager to have both Massachusetts votes when they try to push through a health-care overhaul this fall. Possible contenders for the temporary position include Kennedy's widow Vicki Kennedy, his nephew and former Rep. Joseph Kennedy II, Attorney General Martha Coakley, and several members of the state's congressional delegation. Multiple sources say Vicki Kennedy is not interested in being appointed to the seat, while Joseph Kennedy is strongly considering it.