NY: In 1968, as Today, Filling a Senate Seat Was a Complex Chore

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Here’s some advice for a New York governor who must fill a vacant United States Senate seat:

The replacement senator should be “an alert, modern, creative intellectual leader — a rare commodity in this party of ours” — whose appointment would “help you with the national party” and “validate your own regularity and discrimination where it would count most — and at the same time do no violence to your philosophy.” It also wouldn’t hurt to hail from upstate, be loyal and share the departing senator’s positions.

That was the recommendation of George L. Hinman, the chief political adviser to Gov. Nelson A. Rockefeller, in 1968 after the assassination of Senator Robert F. Kennedy.

That was the last time a New York governor had to appoint a United States senator — until now.

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