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Driving from Michigan in his Ford F150 pickup truck, David Alan Curson arrived in Washington a week ago. He set up an office the previous Sunday, was sworn in as a congressman Tuesday and by Friday had logged his first votes and given his first floor speech — one that stretched a bit past the one minute he’d been allotted.

The 64-year-old Democrat has no time to waste. In six weeks, he’ll be gone.

In Congress‘ packed lame-duck session, Mr. Curson is a curiosity.

He was one of four members of the House sworn in this past week to fill a partial term, but he’s the only one who didn’t win a full, two-year term to go with the temporary gig. In January, he’ll drive his truck home and be replaced by incoming Rep. Kerry Bentivolio, the Republican that Mr. Curson beat out for the partial term.

Mr. Curson did not run for a full term, only opting to run in the special election after other Democrats took a pass.

The seat was left vacant when Rep. Thaddeus McCotter, a Republican, quit Congress during the summer after he failed to qualify for the ballot because of questions about petition signatures.

Mr. Curson, a burly, bearded ex-Marine and United Autoworkers union representative, says he didn’t even realize for sure that he’d won until midafternoon the day after the election.

“It kind of stunned everybody, but immediately the phone just came off the hook,” he said. Party leaders called offering “all the help they could to get me off the ground and running.”

TENNESSEE

Balcony where MLK was slain opens to museum-goers

MEMPHIS — The balcony where Martin Luther King was assassinated in Memphis is now open for visitors for the first time since the National Civil Rights Museum opened in 1991.

The museum says visitors on Monday were able to stand on the spot where King was fatally shot on April 4, 1968.

The museum stands on the grounds of the former Lorraine Motel, where King stayed while supporting a sanitation workers strike. It includes various exhibits about the history of the civil rights movement and allows visitors to see the room where King stayed.

The balcony will be open temporarily, likely closing around the time when renovations to the museum end in 2014.

From wire dispatches and staff reports