Who's eyeing John Kerry's Senate seat?


WASHINGTON - FEBRUARY 18: U.S. Senator Scott Brown (R-MA) speaks to attendees of the 37th Annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on February 18, 2010 in Washington, DC. Brown, who lost his Senate seat to Elizabeth Warren in November, is widely rumored to make a run to fill John Kerry's seat if Kerry's nomination to Secretary of State is confirmed.



Just as the rush of Election Day 2012 is slowly fading, candidates are eyeing one new Senate seat sure to be left by John Kerry. 

The Massachusetts Democrat will have to resign the seat he's held for nearly three decades if his nomination to Secretary of State is approved, as expected, by Congress. 

A special election will be held this summer to fill out the remaining year and a half of Kerry’s term. Whoever wins the special election would then stand for election to a full six-year term in November 2014.

According to TIME, that special election will be the state's third Senate race since 2010. 

The obvious choice to make a Senate comeback is Republican Sen. Scott Brown, who lost his seat to Democrat Elizabeth Warren in November.

According to TIME, Brown left the door wide open for another run, saying that both victory and defeat are "temporary". “Depending on what happens, and where we go, all of us, we may obviously meet again.”

The New York Times has some good news for Brown, should he decide to run. A poll released Thursday shows Brown leading a number of potential Democratic opponents by a wide margin. 

“Polls conducted this early in an election cycle are often tests of name recognition as much as anything and need to be evaluated carefully for that reason," according to pollster Nate Silver.

"But in Mr. Brown’s case, it is not just that Massachusetts voters know him: they also like him. In the poll, 58 percent of voters said they had a favorable view of Mr. Brown, and 28 percent an unfavorable one.”

But as the Daily Beast's Ben Jacobs points out -- Republicans are not all that popular in Massachusetts. The state has not voted a Republican to a full term in the Senate since Richard Nixon’s landslide win in 1972.

So that opens the door to a slew of Democrats who might be vying for the seat including two Kennedys and a Hollywood actor. 

According to NBC, Victoria Kennedy, the second wife of late Sen. Edward Kennedy, has been mentioned as a potential candidate but her spokesperson has said that Kennedy has no comment about any plans to run.

The late Senator's son, Ted Kennedy Jr, told the Hartford Courant newspaper last month that “maybe one day” he’d consider running for national office, reports The Hill. 

On the Congressional side, The Daily Beast names Democrats Ed Markey, Steve Lynch, and Michael Capuano as possible contenders who could take on Brown. 

A spokesman for Markey told The Hill on Friday he is “seriously considering” running to replace Kerry and a spokesperson for Downing said “it’s definitely something he’s considering.”

One famous face has even expressed an interest -- Ben Affleck, who as the Daily Beast's Jacobs points out, may be hampered by not having any political experience and not even being a Massachusetts resident. 

Affleck didn't rule out the possibility when asked by CBS' Bob Schieffer. “One never knows. I’m not one to get into conjecture,” Affleck said during an interview for Face the Nation.