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Sep 24, 2009 9:22 AM by Associated Press

Massachusetts governor set to name Ted Kennedy successor

Massachusetts will get a new, interim, U.S. Senator today to replace the late Edward M. Kennedy after legislators changed the law to all one to be appointed.

Gov. Deval Patrick is to announce the appointment of Kennedy's successor at a news conference at the Statehouse. Former aide and longtime Kennedy friend Paul G. Kirk Jr. has the backing of the late senator's sons.

Patrick declined to discuss potential appointees.

The governor's appointee will serve until a special election is held Jan. 19, and will give President Barack Obama the critical 60th U.S. Senate vote he needs to pass a health care overhaul.

Normally, legislation faces a 90-day waiting period, but Patrick says he'll write the secretary of state to declare an emergency that would allow him to override a defeated effort to make the bill take effect right away.

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