Kaufman, who worked as Biden’s Washington chief of staff until from 1973 until 1994 and as a senior adviser to the Democrat’s 2008 presidential run, will serve in the Senate until 2010, when a special election will be held to appoint another replacement, the News Journal of Wilmington reported. Kaufman currently co-head’s Biden’s transition team.
Earlier this month, Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden, the future vice president’s son, said he would not accept an appointment to replace his father. According to the News Journal, Kaufman’s two-year selection is being seen by some as a strategic move to protect the seat should Beau Biden choose to run two years from now.
Also considered for the seat was Lt. Gov. John Carney, who announced that he would accept the position even under the terms that he not seek a second term in a special election.
Sam Hoff, a Delaware State University professor said Carney’s rejection may raise questions about Kaufman’s proximity to Biden, since Carney was seen by many as the party favorite earlier this month. Since Election Day, Minner had said she would consult closely with Biden to name his successor.
“There’s likely to be some blowback,” Hoff said, according to the News Journal. “People will ask why Mr. Carney has been stepped over, that this was a backroom deal.”
Although some Democrats are hoping to secure the Senate seat for the younger Biden in 2010, Republicans are encouraging Delaware Rep. Mike Castle to join the race and diminish Beau Biden’s chances, the Washington Post’s Chris Cilizza reported.
Biden will be sworn in for his seventh term in early January, Minner announced. Once he officially resigns from the post, Kaufman can be sworn in. Minner said she expects Kaufman to begin mid-January.