Chafee successor won't be named until at least next week
By Chris Black/CNN
October 26, 1999
Web posted at: 11:05 a.m. EDT (1505 GMT)
WASHINGTON -- A spokesman for the Republican governor of Rhode Island said Monday that he would not name a successor to John H. Chafee's vacant Senate seat until next week at the earliest.
Lisa Pelosi said Gov. Lincoln Almond wanted to spend this week mourning the death of the longtime public servant who served as state legislator, governor, Navy secretary and U.S. senator over a span of 43 of his 77 years. Chafee died Sunday of heart failure.
The governor ordered flags flown at half staff at the State House and is opening up the State Room at the State House in Providence so the public can sign condolence books.
Almond, under state law, will name a successor who will serve out the remainder of Chafee's term, which ends at the end of 2000. Chafee had announced his retirement and his son, Lincoln Chafee, the Republican mayor of Warwick, was running for his seat.
If Lincoln Chafee is named to replace his father, he would have to run for the seat in the November election in 2000.
Pelosi said Almond only returned from a long trip overseas last night and was "in shock" over the sudden death of Chafee.
Chafee was elected to his fourth term in the Senate in 1994. His
biography on his Web page notes that Chafee "is the only Republican to be elected to the U.S. Senate from Rhode Island in the past 68 years."
Chafee was chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. In addition, he was a member of the committees on Finance, Taxation and the Select Committee on Intelligence.