Massachusetts State House Votes For Senate-Appointment Bill

The Massachusetts state House has passed the bill to create a temporary appointment to Ted Kennedy’s Senate seat, a crucial step in Democratic efforts to fill the seat before the January special election, and in the midst of the big health care debates.

The Boston Globe reports that the vote 97 in favor, to 58 against.

This is not the end of the road, however. The bill now proceeds to the state Senate, where it could potentially be held up through procedural maneuvers by Republicans. The GOP has pointed out that Dems themselves changed the law to get rid of appointments back in 2004, when John Kerry was running for president and Republican Mitt Romney was governor.

In other news in this race, Boston Celtics co-owner Stephen Pagliuca has declared his candidacy for the Democratic nomination. The Dem nominee, whoever it is that wins the December 8 primary, will be the heavy favorite in January — a Suffolk poll has Dem state Attorney General Martha Coakley leading GOP state Sen. Scott Brown by 54%-24%.