Assuming U.S. Sen. John Kerry clears his Senate confirmation to become U.S. Secretary of State, the 145-to-160-day countdown to a special election would be triggered by his letter of resignation, Secretary of the Commonwealth William Galvin told reporters Friday morning. President Barack Obama is expected to formally nominate Kerry to the post Friday, according to multiple media reports, and Obama has a 1:30 p.m. personnel announcement planned. Galvin said he was “delighted” for Kerry and said he expects bipartisan agreement Kerry is qualified to succeed Hillary Clinton.
Galvin said the Legislature has been clear in its determination to keep the latest iteration of its succession law unchanged, and said that the law worked well following the death of Sen. Ted Kennedy.
“I think the election worked out well, maybe not well for my party, the last time. We had over 2 million people participate,” Galvin said, referring to the January 2010 special election that sent Sen. Scott Brown to Washington.
“There’s a little more flexibility this time” because Kerry will select the date of his resignation, he said.
Gov. Deval Patrick would set the date of the election, Galvin said.