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Suazo widow likely to fill vacated seat

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The widow of state Sen. Pete Suazo, Alicia Lopez Suazo, will seek the late senator's seat, at least through 2002, state Democratic officials said Thursday morning.

Pete Suazo, D-Salt Lake, died in an ATV accident two weeks ago.

He was the only Hispanic in the 104-member Legislature and various minority groups and others have petitioned Alicia Suazo to take his place, representing his district on the west side of Salt Lake City.

During last Saturday's state Democratic Convention a petition was adopted by the delegates asking Alicia Suazo to take her husband's seat. Meg Holbrook and other women personally delivered it to her.

State party officials said Thursday morning that Alicia Suazo, 48, was to accept the draft in a noon news conference at the Capitol.

It is unclear if she will run for the seat herself next year. Under state law, an appointed senator's term runs only until the next general election. Pete Suazo won re-election in 2000 to a four-year term, but his seat falls open in 2002 because of his death.