With all the speculation that Senator John Kerry will be named Secretary of State local politicos are consumed with who will run and who Governor Deval Patrick will name as the interim senator. In that vein Conor Yunits has a very good op-ed Look outside ranks of pols, rich in the Boston Herald today. Conor calls for some outside-the box-thinking; the governor should consider appointing someone from a group that almost never gets senate representation. He suggests a young person; or a veteran; or an African-American (none currently in the senate); another woman; a political outsider; or someone from the 99%.
If and when a special election is held — likely in May or June 2013 — voters will probably elect a former senator (Scott Brown), a familiar name (Kennedy), a current congressman (Michael Capuano, Stephen Lynch, Ed Markey), a constitutional officer (Martha Coakley), or a wealthy newcomer. In the meantime, Patrick should jump at the chance to add a new voice to the debate in the Senate chamber.
Conor is on to something here. Such an appointment could elevate the career of some promising individual who might not otherwise have the chance. We might take a modest step toward greater diversity in our representation.
Extending Conor’s argument, perhaps the governor could appoint someone who is just wild about a single important issue and could be the moral voice of the Senate on the issue for a time. Like gun control. Or global warming.
Such an appointment would no doubt disappoint some among our political royalty but it would say this time isn’t about politics as usual.