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

(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.”  

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.
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)
Senate Republican lead negotiator Sen. Judd Gregg, R-NH, pauses as he talks with reporters about the financial crisis on Wednesday, Oct. 1, 2008 in Washington.
Senate Republican lead negotiator Sen. Judd Gregg, R-NH, pauses as he talks with reporters about the financial crisis on Wednesday, Oct. 1, 2008 in Washington.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
In this Sept. 28, 2008 file photo, Sen. Judd Gregg, R-NH, responds to questions from reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington.
In this Sept. 28, 2008 file photo, Sen. Judd Gregg, R-NH, responds to questions from reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington.   (AP Photo/Lauren Victoria Burke, File)
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