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John Kerry to Be Nominated to Succeed Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State

Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama will on Friday nominate Sen. John Kerry to be secretary of state, likely succeeding Hillary Clinton, sources confirmed to ABC News.

Kerry, 69, the Massachusetts Democrat who was his party's nominee for president in 2004, chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and is unlikely to face fierce opposition from senators across the aisle.

Kerry's nomination is the only one expected from the White House Friday afternoon, although other cabinet members, including Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, are expected to leave the administration in the coming weeks.

An earlier possible State Department nominee, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice, withdrew from consideration for the position when Republicans began to mobilize against her.  At issue was Rice's involvement in the Obama administration's response to the deadly Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

Kerry's nomination will create an opening in the Senate. Sen. Scott Brown, the moderate Republican who lost his bid for re-election in November to consumer advocate Elizabeth Warren, is expected to consider a run for Kerry's seat.

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