As it becomes increasingly likely that Democrats in the Illinois legislature will not amend state law to call for a special election to fill the Senate seat of the President-elect, it appears we will have to wait until Governor Rod Blagojevich either resigns or is impeached for current Lieutenant Governor Pat Quinn to select Obama’s replacement.
Should that happen, the 111th Congress would contain two Senators appointed by governors who took office when the elected governor resigned.Â So, I wonder if that has ever happened before, two Senators serving simultaneously appointed by men elected as Lieutenant Governor, but not Governor.
Some other interesting tidbits.Â In November 2010, both New York Senate seats will be on the ballot.Â We’ve seen a similar phenomenon in the two previous mid-term elections following the inauguration of a Democratic President.Â In 1978, following the election of Jimmy Carter, both Minnesota Senate seats were up for grabs.Â Sixteen years later, following the election of Bill Clinton, both Tennessee seats were.
To note:Â those were the home states of the then-incumbent Democratic Vice President.Â Both times, both seats were held by Democrats.Â Both times, Republican won both seats.*Â Will we see a repeated pattern in the (adopted) home state of the Democratic Secretary of State?Â Let’s hope so.Â Ridding the Senate of New York’s less prominent (but more partisan) Senator would be a good thing for the nation.
Or maybe to fit the pattern, Delaware’s soon-to-be-senior Senator Tom Carper will resign so Governor Jack Markell (who will take office the same day as Barack Obama) can appoint a Senator intended to be more than a bench-warmer.
Okay, I wouldn’t bet on that one.Â So, we’ll have to hope what happened in previous Democratic Administrations in the home states of the incumbent Vice President takes place in the home state of the Secretary of State.
*This year (2008) may have been one of the few times when two states had both Senate seats up for grabs, with all four seats held (and retained) by the same party (this year, the GOP).Â All four incumbents, two previously elected (Thad Cochran and Mike Enzi) and two recently appointed (Roger Wicker and John Barrasso), were returned to office, in Mississippi and Wyoming, respectively.