U.S. Representative Edward Markey, a Democrat, said he will seek the Senate seat from his home state of Massachusetts that would open if current occupant John Kerry is confirmed as secretary of state.
“This fight is too important,” Markey said today in an e- mail statement to supporters. “There is so much at stake.”
Markey, 66, has served in the House since winning a special election in 1976. He passed up a run for the Senate in 2010 to succeed the late Edward Kennedy, a Democrat, in a special election won by Republican Scott Brown.
A leading House voice on environmental and telecommunications issues, Markey finished his 2012 re-election campaign, which he won with 76 percent of the vote, with $3.1 million in the bank, all of which he could transfer to a Senate campaign.
Brown’s election in January 2010 over Democratic Attorney General Martha Coakley at the time deprived Democrats of the 60th Senate vote they needed to overcome Republican filibusters. It forced President Barack Obama and Democratic leaders to use a procedural move known as reconciliation to enact a health-care overhaul that expanded coverage to millions of uninsured Americans.
Obama on Dec. 21 nominated Kerry, the unsuccessful 2004 Democratic presidential nominee, to succeed Hillary Clinton as secretary of state. Upon Senate confirmation of Kerry, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick will appoint an interim successor until the special election is held.
Brown, who lost his bid for a full six-year term to Democrat Elizabeth Warren last month, is a possible Republican nominee for Kerry’s seat. It would be his third statewide Senate race in four years.
Other potential Democratic candidates include U.S. Representatives Michael Capuano and Stephen Lynch. Kennedy’s son, Edward Jr., said Dec. 24 that he wouldn’t run.
State law calls for a special election to be held between 145 to 160 days following the Senate vacancy. The election would be preceded by party primaries.
Patrick has said his intent would be to appoint someone to initially fill the seat who wouldn’t run in the special election. That was the pattern he followed in choosing Democrat Paul G. Kirk as the interim senator after Kennedy died.
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