Yesterday afternoon, Gov. Deval Patrick of Massachusetts confirmed the announcement that former Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) will be seeking the interim appointment to the US Senate if Sen. John Kerry is confirmed as secretary of state. In a January 4, 2013 article by Huffington Post, Patrick was quoted as saying “Congressman Frank is a really gifted legislator, and he’d be a great senator—even on an interim basis.”
Rep. Frank, who only recently left congress after an illustrious 32 year career is also the former chairman of the House Financial Services Committee and is known also for drafting the Dodd-Frank legislation. Dodd-Frank was a pivotal bill signed into law in 2010 by President Obama. It brought significant changes and financial regulation to Wall Street and consumer protection in response to the Great Recession in 2008.
Mr. Frank was also the first openly gay member of congress coming out voluntarily in 1987. He had been re-elected by wide margins in every election since 1972. In July 2011, Frank became the first member of congress to also marry someone of the same sex while in office. He and his longtime partner, James Ready currently live in Cambridge, Ma.
The interim seat would be open between Mr. Kerry’s exit and an expected special election to be heal sometime in early summer of 2013. On MSNBC’s Morning Joe yesterday, Frank said “I’m not going to be coy, it’s not anything I’ve ever been good at. I’ve told the governor that I would like, frankly to be a part of [Kerry’s interim Senate seat]. It’s only a three month period.” Stating further that the catalyst to this decision was the fiscal cliff deal that “now means February, March, and April are going to be the most important months in American financial history.”
Frank, who is now 72, has said he has no interest in running for the seat in a special election, though he would not refuse an appointment.