Attorney General Dick Thornburgh said Wednesday he is considering whether to run for the Senate seat left vacant by the death of Pennsylvania Republican John Heinz, who died April 4 in a plane crash outside Philadelphia.

Thornburgh said a "a lot of people" have been asking him to run this fall in a special election to fill the unexpired term of Heinz. "I will give it consideration," the attorney general told reporters after appearing before the Supreme Court in a victims' rights case.Asked if he was planning to run for the Senate, the attorney general instead sang, "Oh, what a beautiful morning!" He then added, "I have made no such decision."

A former two-term governor of Pennsylvania, Thornburgh became the front-runner Tuesday for the Republican nomination for a special election this fall after Heinz's widowtook herself out of consideration.

Gov. Robert P. Casey, a Democrat, has yet to appoint an interim successor to Heinz. And they appear to be having trouble coming up with a candidate.

A special election will be held Nov. 5, to fill the seat for the balance of Heinz's term.

Mrs. Heinz took herself out of the running Tuesday, saying she had decided "that I simply have too much healing to do, too many family responsibilities and too many new duties" to enter politics.

A proven vote-getter in Pennsylvania, Thornburgh is regarded by state GOP officials as the best candidate to keep the seat for the Republicans.