Kennedy Questions Kentuckian Nominated As Surgeon General

WASHINGTON (AP) - Senator Edward Kennedy is raising new questions about whether the post of surgeon general is too political and if Dr. James Holsinger of Kentucky is the right candidate.

A U-S Senate committee is preparing to consider whether the 68-year-old Lexington cardiologist should be the next surgeon general.

Kennedy said in a statement issued by his office that he's disappointed that the administration looked past many talented physicians who have a record of bringing people together. He said Holsinger's record appears to guarantee a polarizing and divisive nomination process.

Kennedy is chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, which will hold Holsinger's confirmation hearing tomorrow. The nominee has drawn fire from some critics about his stance against homosexuality through his work with the national United Methodist Church.

He has declined to comment while his nomination is pending.

Kennedy's comments followed testimony from three former surgeons general yesterday before the House Oversight and Government Reform
Committee. They said the office has been increasingly politicized in recent years.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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