Sen. Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts left a giant’s shoes to fill in the U.S. Congress. Having been diagnosed and undergone surgery for brain cancer last year, speculation has already been well under way as to who would replace the “lion of the Senate” when the time came. One of the names frequently mentioned is Crowley native Victoria Reggie Kennedy, Ted Kennedy’s wife of the past 16 years. Reggie is the daughter of former judge and state politico Edmund Reggie. (Edmund Reggie directed John F. Kennedy’s presidential campaign in Louisiana in 1960 and went on to become a close confidant of Edwin Edwards.) Victoria Reggie, an attorney, has widely been credited as the resolute woman behind Sen. Kennedy’s renewed vigor and work focus of the past 15 years, helping him cement his reputation as an esteemed statesman.

In the new book Ted Kennedy: The Dream that Never Died, recently excerpted in Vanity Fair, Reggie is painted as one of three rival heirs apparent, along with Ted’s nephew Joe Kennedy and niece Caroline Kennedy. The Boston Globe is reporting today that Victoria Reggie has been lobbying Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick to honor one of Ted Kennedy's last wishes: that the state allow the governor to appoint his successor in the event of his death so as not to lose a crucial vote on pending health care reform legislation. The Globe has also recently reported, through its own insider source, that Victoria Reggie has said she is not interested in replacing Ted in the Senate.

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