- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 25, 2008

UPDATE:

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 prepares to move to the White House.

Delaware Gov. Ruth Ann Minner, a Democrat made her choice known at a press conference in Wilmington on Monday, setting the table for a special election in 2010 in which Mr. Biden’s son, state Attorney General 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 that 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, elected state attorney general in 2006, 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.

The vice president-elect 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.

It is not clear when Mr. Biden will resign his Senate seat. President-elect Barack Obama already has 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 with 40 Republican Senate seats. Two seats - in Georgia and Minnesota - are still to be determined.

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