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N.Y. representative opposes Kennedy post

ALBANY, N.Y., Dec. 11 (UPI) -- U.S. Rep. Gary Ackerman says replacing U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton with Caroline Kennedy, daughter of the late President John F. Kennedy, is unacceptable.

The 25-year congressional veteran, who like Clinton is a New York Democrat, said the proposal of having Kennedy replace Clinton, who has been tabbed as the next secretary of state, amounts to a simple "name recognition" move, the New York Post reported Thursday.

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Ackerman, who was a teacher and community newspaper publisher before going to Washington, even went so far as to compare Kennedy, a 51-year-old lawyer and author who has been active on education issues and serves on several boards, to singer-actress Jennifer Lopez, who is also known by the moniker J.Lo.

"I don't know what Caroline Kennedy's qualifications are," Ackerman said in a Monday radio interview, "except that she has name recognition, but so does J.Lo. I wouldn't make J.Lo the senator unless she proved she had great qualifications, but we haven't seen them yet."

New York Gov. David Paterson named Kennedy as one of 12 possible replacements for Clinton, who will join U.S. President-elect Barack Obama's Cabinet next year, the Post reported.

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"It's important for me to concentrate only on how the candidates will help New York if they are chosen to serve in the Senate," Paterson said of the ongoing replacement decision.

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