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Former Gay Congressman Barney Frank Wants Interim Mass. Senate Seat

Former Gay Congressman Barney Frank Wants Interim Mass. Senate Seat

Former Rep. Barney Frank may have retired from the House of Representatives, but now he wants to be appointed to the U.S. Senate if Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) is confirmed as the next secretary of state.

Kerry, who has served in the Senate since 1985, has been nominated by President Obama to replace the retiring Hillary Clinton for the nation's top diplomatic post. In order to take the position the full Senate must first confirm him.

Frank, known for being one of the first openly homosexual members of Congress, retired from his House seat on Wednesday after representing a Massachusetts district for over 32 years.

Now Frank has let it be known that he wants the interim appointment that Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick will make prior to the seat being filled by a special election later this year.

"A few weeks ago, in fact, I said I wasn't interested," Frank said when asked by MSNBC "Morning Joe" host Joe Scarborough if he would accept an appointment.

Part of Frank's desire to take the temporary appointment involves the recent fiscal cliff bill and the upcoming debate on the whether to increase the nation's debt ceiling that will take place in the next few weeks and the former Congressman believes his input would be valuable.

"That deal now means that February, March and April are going to be among the most important months in American financial and economic history," Frank said.

However, Frank, who is now 72 and recently married his same-sex partner, says he is not interested in running for a partial or full Senate term.

"I'm not going to be coy ... I've told the governor that I would now like, frankly, to do that because I would like to be a part of that," Frank said. "It's only a three-month period. I wouldn't want to do anything more. I don't want to run again ... It's almost, to be honest, a little arrogant, 'Coach, put me in.'"

One of Frank's most controversial pieces of legislation is known as the Dodd-Frank bill, which in 2010 brought about sweeping changes in the financial services industry.


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