Governor Patrick Names Paul Kirk as Interim U.S. Senator
BOSTON - Thursday, September 24, 2009 - Governor Deval Patrick today appointed Paul Kirk Jr., as interim United State Senator to fill the seat left vacant by the passing of Senator Edward Kennedy. Kirk will serve as interim senator until the results of the special election on January 19th.
Kirk, 71, is chairman of the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation. He was a close and loyal advisor to Senator Kennedy from 1969 to 1977. In addition, he was chairman of the Democratic National Committee from 1985 to 1989.
"I am pleased to appoint Paul Kirk, as interim U.S. Senator from Massachusetts," said Governor Patrick. "For the next few months, he will carry on the work and focus of Senator Kennedy, mindful of his mission, his values and his love of Massachusetts. I know I join so many other citizens in thanking him for his willingness to serve."
"This is a profound honor which I accept with most sincere humility. To be a voice and a vote in the United States Senate for Senator Kennedy's causes and constituents is a blessing I can only re-pay by giving my very best service to the people of the Commonwealth while they elect their next senator," said Kirk. "Senator Kennedy often said that representing the citizens of Massachusetts in the Senate was the highest honor he could ever achieve, and it certainly will be mine."
"Paul Kirk is a great choice for the interim United States Senate seat," said Lieutenant Governor Timothy P. Murray. "He will offer continuity for the people of the Commonwealth while also upholding the ideals that Senator Kennedy held so dear. I offer my congratulations to Paul and look forward to working with him."
"Today is a wonderful day for the people of Massachusetts and the country. We are enormously thankful to Governor Patrick, Senate President Murray, Speaker DeLeo and all of the members of the Massachusetts Senate and House who worked to assure that the people of the Commonwealth have two senators during this interim period before the special election on January 19, 2010. Governor Patrick could not have selected a more outstanding person to serve as Massachusetts's interim senator than Paul Kirk," the Kennedy family said in a statement. "Senator Kennedy always said that serving the people of Massachusetts in the United States Senate was the greatest honor of his life. He would be so pleased that Paul Kirk will also now have that honor. Senator Kennedy and Paul were close friends and they worked together for many years, starting with Paul's tenure on the Senator's staff in Washington four decades ago. Side by side they fought many battles for progress and social justice, and nothing could be more fitting than for Paul now to carry on that fight. When he is sworn in as the Junior Senator from Massachusetts, Paul will hit the ground running, and that's an enormous benefit for the people of Massachusetts."
Kirk, a highly-esteemed attorney, co-founded and currently co-chairs the Commission on Presidential Debates, which works to secure and host debates between the presidential candidates.
Kirk is also chairman of the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs - a think tank that works to promote the spread of democracy abroad. Kirk graduated from Harvard University with a B.A. in 1960 and Harvard Law School in 1964. After graduating law school, he served as a Middlesex County Assistant District Attorney. Kirk lives in Marstons Mills with his wife.