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Push on to name Barney Frank to Kerry's seat

By The Associated Press

This article was published January 10, 2013 at 7:41 a.m.

— Liberal groups have launched twin online petitions aimed at pressuring Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick to temporarily name former U.S. Rep. Barney Frank to Sen. John Kerry’s seat if Kerry is confirmed as secretary of state.

The Progressive Change Campaign Committee, which helped raise money for Democrat Elizabeth Warren during her successful Senate campaign, has launched a new website and online petition.

The petition points to potential cuts to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid and says “we can’t afford to have our other senator be lukewarm, undecided, or uncertain.”

“We need someone who we are 100 percent confident will fight right alongside [Warren],” the petition adds.

The website SignOn.org, affiliated with the liberal activist group MoveOn.org, has posted a similar petition saying “we can’t think of anyone who would do a better job over the next few months than Barney Frank.”

Frank, who opted not to run for re-election after a 32-year career in the U.S. House, has publicly lobbied for the interim post.

“I’m very well suited to do it,” Frank said last week. “You’re not going to have a long period to get acquainted with things.”

Patrick confirmed that he was considering Frank and believed he would make a “great interim senator,” but added that he has talked to other people about the position as well.

Patrick must appoint someone to fill Kerry’s seat until a special election is held if Kerry’s nomination is confirmed. That special election would be scheduled for about five months after the Massachusetts Democrat’s resignation.

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