Rep. Ed Markey said Thursday he will run for the Massachusetts Senate seat likely being vacated by Sen. John Kerry, President Obama’s nominee for secretary of state.
The veteran House member announced his decision in a statement to the Boston Globe, saying, "I have decided to run for the US Senate because this fight is too important. There is so much at stake."
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Markey, 66, has served in the House since 1976 and is the dean of the Massachusetts delegation, according to The Washington Post. He is the first major candidate in the race, with other likely Democratic candidates including state Attorney General Martha Coakley, Reps. Stephen Lynch and Michael Capuano, and former Rep. Martin Meehan. Sen. Scott Brown is the overwhelming favorite as a Republican candidate.
Two other possible contenders were Ted Kennedy Jr., the eldest son of the late senator, and actor Ben Affleck, but both have recently said they will not run, noted CNN. Markey is said to have considered running for the Senate seat in 1984 when Sen. Paul Tsongas retired, but he did not run, leaving the seat for Kerry.
Assuming the Senate confirms Kerry’s nomination as secretary of state, there will be a special election for his empty Senate seat sometime next year, according to the Post. Gov. Deval Patrick will appoint an interim senator who will serve until the winner takes office.