Sonny Bono's mother says her son would have preferred his wife to stay home to care for the couple's young children instead of succeeding him in Congress.

"I want her to stay home," 83-year-old Jean Bono told The Press-Enterprise of Riverside. "Somebody else can take care of the Salton Sea - who can take care of my grandchildren?"Before his death Jan. 5 in a skiing accident, Bono had led a campaign for federal aid for the cleanup of the Salton Sea.

Mary Bono is the Republican favorite in the race for her late husband's congressional seat. A special election is scheduled for April 7 in Palm Springs, Calif.

She recently said her children, Chianna, 7, and Chesare, 9, would remain enrolled in a private school and live at home in a longtime nanny's care. But she warned that could change, and the children could spend extended periods of time with her in Washington.

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ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Birthdays: For Sunday, March 29

Former Sen. Eugene McCarthy 82

Former British Prime Minister John Major 55

Model Elle MacPherson 35

Actress Lucy Lawless 30