09/24/2009 AT 12:00 PM EDT
U.S. Sen. Ted Kennedy, who died last month
, will be replaced by a former Democratic National Committee chairman, and Kennedy's ex-assistant and close friend.
Paul G. Kirk Jr., 71, was announced as Kennedy's interim replacement by Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick this morning. On Tuesday, the state legislature passed a resolution allowing the governor to appoint a temporary replacement; a special election will be held to allow voters to select Kennedy's permanent replacement on Jan. 19, 2010.
– Michael Y. Park