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Progressive group launches petition urging appointment of Barney Frank as interim senator

The liberal advocacy group that helped draft Elizabeth Warren into the US Senate campaign in 2011 is now trying to make Barney Frank her junior senator.

The Progressive Change Campaign Committee sent an email to 25,000 Massachusetts members Wednesday afternoon asking them to sign an online petition urging Governor Deval Patrick to appoint Frank as the state’s interim senator. The group also launched a website, AppointBarneyFrank.com.

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Patrick is expected to have that opportunity later this month, if Senator John Kerry is confirmed as secretary of state, as expected.

The appointment would last for about 145 to 160 days until a permanent replacement is elected and sworn in.

The PCCC email is signed by Cynthia Curtis, a member from Wellesley.

“As Elizabeth Warren takes a principled stand against cuts to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid benefits, we can’t afford to have our other senator be lukewarm, undecided, or uncertain,” Curtis wrote. “We need someone who we are 100% confident will fight right alongside her. Barney Frank is that person.”

Frank, a Newton Democrat who retired this month, has been openly campaigning for the temporary appointment. But Patrick has the ultimate decision and has expressed some frustration with the relentless focus on who he will choose. His top political advisor, Doug Rubin, has spoken out against Frank’s appointment, saying there are better choices available.

Noah Bierman can be reached at nbierman@globe.com.
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