THE governor of Massachusetts has named former Democratic Party chairman Paul G Kirk Jr to temporarily fill the late Senator Edward Kennedy’s seat.
Governor Deval Patrick’s announcement means Kirk will serve in the post until voters pick a replacement in a January 19 special election. Patrick says the issues before Congress are “too important to Massachusetts for us to be one voice short”.
Kennedy died on August 25.
Kirk is a Kennedy family friend who served on the late senator’s staff for eight years and is chairman of the JFK Library Foundation.
Kennedy’s widow Vicki Kennedy and son Edward Kennedy Jr had urged Patrick to pick Kirk and it allows US President Barack Obama to regain a critical 60th US Senate vote he needs to pass a healthcare overhaul.
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