GOP Says It Will Keep Gregg's Senate Seat

Sources say Lynch would appoint interim GOP member
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 2, 2009 7:30 AM CST
Sen. Judd Gregg, R-NH, ranking Republican on the Senate Budget Committee, talks to reporters about the deficit, Wednesday, Jan. 7, 2009, on Capitol Hill in Washington.   (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
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(Newser) – Republicans say they have a deal in place to make sure that if Barack Obama picks Judd Gregg to head the Commerce Department, they won't lose that 41st seat they need to mount a filibuster. Officials expect New Hampshire Gov. John Lynch to pick his former chief of staff Bonnie Newman—a veteran of the Reagan administration—to replace Gregg, the Union-Leader reports.

Gregg has apparently become the frontrunner for the pick, and could be announced as soon as today. “Sen. Gregg has assured me that, if it were to happen, it would not change the makeup of the Senate,” said minority leader Mitch McConnell. “Whoever is appointed to replace him would caucus with Senate Republicans.”