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Ted Kennedy's friend Paul Kirk now favorite for Senate seat

Kirk has received the endorsement of widow Victoria Kennedy and sons Patrick and Edward Jr. He is the former chairman of the Democratic National Committee.

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Paul Kirk now appears to be the front-runner to take the late Sen. Edward Kennedy’s Senate seat until a special election is held in January.

Senator Kennedy’s sons and his widow have endorsed Mr. Kirk, a long-time Kennedy friend and the former chairman of the Democratic National Committee.

Both Edward Kennedy Jr. and Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D) of Rhode Island have contacted Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick – who will make the appointment – to express their support for Kirk, according to the Associated Press. Kennedy’s widow, Victoria, is also reported to be in favor of Kirk, who is currently chairman of the John F. Kennedy Library.

The news represents a shift from Tuesday, when Gov. Michael Dukakis seemed to be a shoo-in, even earning the endorsement of the Boston Globe.

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