Massachusetts Congressman Ed Markey, D-Mass., has become the first candidate to officially announce plans to run for the Senate seat likely to be vacated by Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., who President Obama recently nominated to be Secretary of State.
"I have decided to run for the U.S. Senate because this fight is too important," Markey said in a statement released Thursday night. "There is so much at stake."
He added, "We need a Senator who will work with President Obama, and anyone else, to move our country and our Commonwealth forward."
Markey, who was first elected to the House in 1976, easily won re-election to a nineteenth term in Congress in November.
In the statement announcing his candidacy, Markey called for investments in innovation and jobs, the protection of Social Security and Medicare, a "sane approach" to guns and violence, and a national policy that makes the country energy independent and curbs the pollution that is causing global warming.
With Kerry widely expected to be confirmed by his Senate colleagues, Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick is expected to appoint a temporary successor that will be replaced by the winner of a special election held sometime next year.
Other potential Democratic candidates include Attorney General Martha Coakley, Reps. Mike Capuano, D-Mass. and Steve Lynch, D-Mass., and former Congressman Marty Meehan.
Ted Kennedy Jr., the son of the late senator, and actor Ben Affleck gave some thought to running for Kerry's seat but recently announced that they will stay out of the race.
On the Republican side, Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass., who won the special election to replace the late Sen. Ten Kennedy in 2010 but lost his bid for re-election to Elizabeth Warren last month, is seen as the overwhelming favorite.
A recent poll conducted for public radio station WBUR by the MassINC Polling Group showed Brown with an early advantage in a special election to fill Kerry's seat.
The poll showed Brown with a substantial lead in a potential Republican primary and a 47 percent to 39 percent lead over a generic Democratic candidate.
Some political pundits suggested that harsh Republican criticism of UN Ambassador Susan Rice, who had been seen as the likely nominee for Secretary of State, was part of an effort to push Obama toward nominating Kerry and opening his Senate seat to Brown.
Rice removed her name from consideration to succeed Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State amid substantial criticism from Republicans for her comments regarding the deadly attacks on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.
by RTT Staff Writer
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