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December 22, 2012

North Shore pols react to Kerry nomination

After hearing President Barack Obama name Sen. John Kerry as his next secretary of state yesterday afternoon, state Rep. Jerry Parisella said the state will once again become the center of national politics as it gears up for a special election.

“When Scott Brown won last time it was a wake up call for the Democratic Party,” he said. “The Democratic Party can’t take the special election for granted, especially if Scott Brown runs again because he is a formidable candidate.”

Parisella, a Beverly Democrat, said he thought Kerry was a good choice as the top diplomat for the Obama administration.

“He is a combat veteran, who served in Vietnam and is the chairman of the foreign relations committee,” Parisella said. “I think he has a lot of depth and breath on foreign policy matters.”

Yesterday’s announcement ended months of speculation about Kerry being selected. If confirmed by the Senate, Kerry would replace Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, who plans to leave Obama’s Cabinet early next year.

Kerry, 69, is expected to be easily confirmed by his Senate colleagues. He has represented Massachusetts in the Senate since 1985.

Gov. Deval Patrick will likely appoint an interim senator until the special election is held to fill the position. Kerry’s term is up in 2014. Names of possible Democratic candidates include U.S. Reps. Edward Markey, Niki Tsongas, Stephen Lynch and Michael Capuano. David Simas, a former top aide to Patrick and Obama, is reportedly considering the race, and there are reports that Edward Kennedy Jr., son of the late senator, is giving the race consideration.

State Rep. Ted Speliotis, D-Danvers, agreed that Kerry was the most qualified person in the Senate for the job. While his departure means the state will lose a senior senator, Speliotis said he thinks the Democratic party will land on its feet.

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