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Barney Frank passed over as interim U.S. Senator

Barney Frank passed over as interim U.S. Senator

The governor of Massachusetts on Wednesday announced his choice for the interim replacement for outgoing Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) — and it’s not the gay former U.S. House member who was publicly lobbying for the position.

Barney Frank
File photo by Michael Key, Washington Blade

Gov. Deval Patrick selected William “Mo” Cowan, his former chief of staff, to fill the open seat vacated by Kerry, whom the Senate confirmed this week as the next secretary of state by a vote of 94-3. Patrick also announced the special election to fill the slot permanently will be held on June 25.

“Mo’s service on the front lines in our efforts to manage through the worst economy in 80 years and build a better, stronger Commonwealth for the next generation has earned him the respect and admiration of people throughout government,” Patrick said in a statement.

After his retirement from Congress following 32 years as a U.S. House member, Frank was public about his interest in the position as interim U.S. senator, telling the Boston Globe he believes his experience on financial issues would be beneficial as the House takes on budget issues.

Had he been appointed, Frank would have been the second openly gay person to serve in the U.S. Senate after Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), who was sworn in earlier this month.

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