Barney Frank will not be the interim senator from Massachusetts.
At a press conference this morning, Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick announced Mo Cowan, his former chief of staff, would fill the seat held by Sen. John Kerry until a special election is held in June.
Frank, who retired earlier this month after 32 years in the House of Representatives, had been openly jockeying for the interim appointment after President Barack Obama announced Kerry's nomination as secretary of state. Yesterday, the Senate voted 94-3 to confirm Kerry as the successor to outgoing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Following Kerry’s confirmation as secretary of state, first-term Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D) became the senior senator from Massachusetts.
"I'm not going to be coy. It's not something I've ever been good at," Frank said during a Jan. 5 appearance on MSNBC's Morning Joe. "I've told the governor that I would now like, frankly, to do that because I would like to be a part of that. It's only a three-month period; I wouldn't want to do anything more; I don't want to run again."
After Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) was sworn in as the Senate’s first out member on Jan. 4, the potential of Frank serving only briefly as the Senate’s second out member sparked excitement among many in the LGBT community.
Indeed, John Kelley, a Massachusetts resident, launched a petition with the help of MoveOn.org urging Patrick to appoint Frank to the interim Senate seat. According to Bloomberg, the petition collected nearly 10,000 signatures, but Kelley was advised by an aide to Frank not to turn the petition into the governor’s office.
Frank has said he will continue to play a role in the national debate during his retirement. In an interview with Metro Weekly hours after the 113th Congress was sworn in Jan. 4, Frank said he was working on two books on what liberalism should be and the LGBT-rights movement.
[Photo: Barney Frank (Credit: Todd Franson/Metro Weekly).]