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At least two election-toppled Senate Democrats plan to leave their seats early to boost the GOP successors on the seniority ladder. John Durkin of New Hampshire and Richard Stone of Florida, however, may accomplish nothing by their announced early exits. The Republican Senate Conference, in the wake of similar early resignations after the 1978 election, adopted a rules change to prevent any newly chosen senator from gaining such possible political advantage.

Thus regardless of how soon Senators-elect Paula Hawkins of Florida or Warren Rudman of New Hampshire take their seats, they will be treated like all other GOP freshmen in terms of choice assignments.m

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