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Michael Dukakis Will Not Be Interim Senator If Kerry Resigns

BOSTON (CBS) – Former Gov. Michael Dukakis says he will not be a candidate for appointment as interim senator should Sen. John Kerry resign to accept appointment as Secretary of State.

In a brief State House interview Monday, Dukakis told WBZ-TV: "I'm headed for the West to teach," alluding to his annual spring-semester teaching duties at UCLA.

"That's a no," said Dukakis in reference to a possible appointment by Gov. Deval Patrick to fill the seat until a special election can be held. Dukakis also said he had not been contacted by the governor's office in regard to a possible appointment.

Dukakis dismissed speculation that Beacon Hill Democrats might seek to once again change the succession law to allow the governor to appoint someone to fill out the remainder of Kerry's term, which runs through 2014. The law was changed in 2004 as Kerry sought the presidency for fear that then-Gov. Mitt Romney would be able to make that coveted appointment.

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"My party's gotten caught in a little bit of a bind here, because attempting to avoid a Romney appointment, you created this system, and it's a little difficult to jump back and do it again," said Dukakis.

"It would be a lot better if the governor could simply name somebody for the rest of the term, but that's not what the law says. So if John [Kerry] gets that appointment, I assume we're going to have another election."

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