Ted Kennedy Seeks Successor for Senate Seat, In Case
08/20/2009 AT 09:30 AM EDT
Without specifically mentioning his illness, Kennedy, 77, wrote Governor Deval L. Patrick, Senate President Therese Murray, and House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo to say, "I am now writing to you about an issue that concerns me deeply, the continuity of representation for Massachusetts, should a vacancy occur." An election to fill the vacant seat would take months, the senator notes in his message.
Kennedy's move is being seen as "a poignant acknowledgment of his mortality at a critical time in the national health care debate," reports the Boston Globe.
Last week, Kennedy lost his elder sister. Eunice Kennedy Shriver was 88.
– Stephen M. Silverman