Do you think Kerry should give up his Senate seat while he is running for the White House?
From the Daily News:
BOSTON -- A top Massachusetts Republican yesterday called on Democrat John Kerry to resign from the Senate while he seeks the presidency, a vacancy that would allow the GOP to fill the seat.
Lt. Gov. Kerry Healey argued that Kerry, the state's four-term senator, has missed too many roll call votes and has done a poor job of representing his constituents. Of the 112 Senate votes this year, Kerry has voted just 14 times, according to an Associated Press tally.
"It's not fair, it's not right and the public is not being well-served," said Healey, who said she was speaking on behalf of Republican Gov. Mitt Romney. "I'm calling on John Kerry to resign so that we can fill that office with someone who is 100 percent devoted to the job of representing the people of Massachusetts."
Campaign spokesman Michael Meehan said Kerry has no plans to resign his Senate seat.
Asked about the GOP calls, Kerry dismissed the suggestions, telling reporters as his plane landed in Kentucky, "I'm running for president because we have to put this country back into a place of responsible leadership. And I believe that I'm serving the citizens of Massachusetts and the country in the proposals that I've laid out."
State Democratic Chairman Phil Johnston accused Healey and Romney of being "attack dogs for the Bush-Cheney campaign." He noted that President Bush did not give up the Texas governorship while running for president in 2000, although he spent most his time out of state that year.
Under Massachusetts law, if a vacancy occurs Romney would appoint an interim senator, who would serve until statewide elections, which occur this fall. There would then be a special election to fill the remainder of Kerry's term, which ends in 2008. And in 2008 there would be an election for a full six-year term.
In 1996, Republican Bob Dole gave up his seat as Kansas senator in early June before formally receiving the GOP nod to run against President Clinton. When Dole quit the Senate, the state's Republican governor, Bill Graves, appointed Republican Lt. Gov. Sheila Frahm to fill the remainder of the term until a special election, also won by the GOP.
Four years later, Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut ran for re-election to his Senate seat while simultaneously running as the Democratic vice presidential candidate. That decision worried some state Democrats because if Lieberman had resigned, a Democrat could have run. But if he stayed and became vice president, Republican Gov. John Rowland would have appointed a GOP replacement.
Lieberman's safety net worked for him. He lost the White House race, but kept his Senate seat.