- The Washington Times - Monday, November 24, 2008

Edward E. “Ted” Kaufman, longtime adviser and chief of staff for Vice President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr., will serve the first two years of Mr. Biden’s Senate term as the Delaware Democrat moves to the White House.

Delaware’s Democratic Gov. Ruth Ann Minner made her choice known at a press conference in Wilmington Monday, setting the table for a special election in 2010 in which Mr. Biden’s son, Beau Biden, is the clear front-runner to claim his father’s Senate seat.

Mr. Kaufman, a Wilmington-based political consultant and a lecturer at the Duke University School of Law, served as head of the senior Mr. Biden’s vice presidential transition team and has long been one of his closest aides. From 1974 to 1993, he was Mr. Biden’s Senate chief of staff.

Mr. Biden, the longest-serving senator in Delaware history, won a seventh six-year term Nov. 4 in addition to his election as vice president. But Mr. Kaufman said Monday he would not serve out the full term and would not run in the 2010 special election.

“I do not think that Delaware’s appointed senator should spend the next two years running for office,” he told reporters in Dover.

Beau Biden, the state’s attorney general, is a member of the Delaware National Guard and is preparing for a deployment to Iraq. He declined to be considered as an appointed replacement for his father, but Delaware political analysts said Mr. Kaufman’s two-year term will end just in time for the younger Mr. Biden to campaign for the seat on his own.

Vice President-elect Biden in a statement praised Mr. Kaufman and addressed head-on the speculation about his son’s future.

“It is no secret that I believe my son would make a great U.S. senator. But Beau has made it clear from the moment he entered public life that any office he sought, he would earn on his own,” the senior Mr. Biden said.

“If he chooses to run for the Senate in the future, he will have to run and win on his own. He wouldn’t have it any other way,” the vice president-elect said.

Mr. Biden did not say if he would resign his Senate seat before the Jan. 20 inauguration. President-elect Barack Obama has already formally resigned his Illinois Senate seat, with several candidates jockeying to succeed him.

With Democratic governors in both Delaware and Illinois, the party composition in the Senate will not change. Democrats and two allied independents now hold a 58-seat majority compared to 40 Republican Senate seats. Two seats — in Georgia and Minnesota — are still to be determined.

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