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Kirk Tapped for Kennedy Seat

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Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick will name former Democratic National Committee chairman Paul Kirk (pictured) as the interim occupant of the U.S. Senate seat vacated by the late Edward M. Kennedy.

Patrick will make the announcement at a press conference on Thursday at 11 a.m., according to Politico.com.

"Kirk was believed to be one of three contenders under final consideration by Patrick, along with former Massachusetts governor Michael Dukakis and former lieutenant governor Evelyn Murphy," reported Politico.com.

Vicki Kennedy, the senator's widow, and his sons, Patrick and Ted Jr., had expressed their preference for Kirk to Governor Patrick. Yesterday, the state legislature gave the governor the power to appoint an interim replacement until a special election can be held in January, as the ailing Kennedy had requested.

Kirk, 71, chairs the board of the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation. A graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School, he served as a longtime aide to Kennedy in the Senate and currently co-chairs the commission on presidential debates.

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