SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) - Senator John Kerry will be sworn in as Secretary of State Friday. But before he begins his new role, he traveled across the state to see the people he's represented for more than 28 years.
Kerry appeared before supporters and local officials at YouthBuild in Springfield late Thursday morning. People in the crowd said that they were excited to see the incoming secretary.
"It's an overwhelming experience and I'm glad I'm here. Just to be in the same room as him is a great feeling. We're really appreciative of his support," said Jorge Watson of YouthBuild.
The point that Senator Kerry came to Springfield to make was that he is appreciative of his constituents' support.
"You have given me the privilege of a lifetime to represent this extraordinary commonwealth of Massachusetts as a United States Senator. I can't think of any better work, better job, better opportunity and I just wanted to come out here and say thank you," Senator Kerry said.
As the seventh most senior senator, and chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, supporters say that John Kerry is well prepared for his new position.
"Always pleased to see someone who's a Vietnam veteran in a decision making position, having that experience guide him when he makes decisions," said Springfield City Councilor Kateri Walsh.
Kerry's successors representing Massachusetts in the Senate have less than a year's experience, and many question what impact it will have on the state.
"We're a hearty stock here in Massachusetts and we catch on quick, but it is going to be a loss for the Commonwealth to lose John in the US Senate," said former State Representative Paul Caron (D-Springfield).
William "Mo" Cowan, former Chief of Staff to Governor Deval Patrick, has been chosen to replace Kerry in the Senate until after a June 25 special election.
Kerry's departure makes Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who was only sworn-in earlier this month, the state's senior Senator.