Senate Confirms Kerry, 94-3 He will replace Hillary Clinton as secretary of state By John Johnson, Newser Staff Posted Jan 29, 2013 3:56 PM CST 67 comments Comments John Kerry will be the next secretary of state. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) (Newser) – Maybe the only surprising thing about John Kerry getting confirmed to succeed Hillary Clinton as secretary of state is that it wasn't a unanimous vote in the Senate. Instead, Kerry had to settle for a 94-3 mark, with Republicans Ted Cruz, John Cornyn, and James Inhofe voting against him. The Washington Post notes that he will be the first white guy in the post since Warren Christopher in 1997. He takes over on Friday.