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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

When govs appoint themselves to senate, they lose



Ken Rubin: looked back after the Blago uproar at the precedent of governors stepping down to be appointed to open senate seats:


Under arrest or not, governors who finagled getting themselves appointed to the Senate don't fare very well when they have to face the voters. With one exception, every governor who tried to win favor with the electorate has been defeated.

(For the record, these governors do not exactly appoint themselves; they resign as governor and have their successors name them to the Senate.)

The most recent example occurred in Minnesota, in 1977. After Sen. Walter Mondale (D) ascended to the vice presidency, Wendell Anderson (D) resigned as governor and had his successor, Lt. Gov. Rudy Perpich (D), appoint him to the Senate. At their first opportunity, in 1978, voters let Anderson know what they thought of his maneuver.

By the way, they're still calling that 1978 election the "Minnesota Massacre." Republican Rudy Boschwitz trounced Sen. Anderson in November. Gov. Perpich lost his bid for a full term to GOP Congressman Al Quie. And in the race for the other Senate seat — a special election necessitated by the death of Hubert Humphrey — the Democrats carved each other up in the primary and the seat went to Republican Dave Durenberger.

[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 3:56pm]


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