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Will gay US congressman Barney Frank become a senator?

Will gay US congressman Barney Frank become a senator?

Barney Frank, the first openly gay congressman in US history, does not rule out temporaily replacing John Kerry as the senator from Massachusetts should Kerry be appointed secretary of state.

Kerry’s current Senate term does not end until 2014 so should he vacate the office, his replacement would be chosen by Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick. Kerry, Frank and Patrick are all Democrats.

‘The governor ought to be free to make whatever choices he makes,’ Frank, 71, tells Politico. ‘In Massachusetts, you’re talking about an interim, not a permanent appointment. I certainly would not take on any long-term appointment.’

Frank, a member of the US House or Representatives for more than 30 years, points out that while his name is being floated, no one has asked him.

‘I think accepting offers that haven’t been made is kind of presumptuous,’ he says.

If Frank were to get the job, he would just miss out at being the first openly gay member of the Senate. Wisconsin’s Tammy Baldwin, the second openly gay member of the House after Frank, was elected to the Senate in November.