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Rep. Ed Markey (D) official portrait
Rep. Ed Markey (D)
Taking advantage of a slow news day on Thursday, Rep. Ed Markey became the first prominent Democrat to declare for the special election to replace Sen. John Kerry, which is likely to take place in June (assuming Kerry is confirmed as Secretary of State). Markey's been in the House an incredibly long time: His 36-year tenure in the lower chamber would be the longest of any member of congress who ascended to the Senate. (The current record-holder is Republican Frederick Gillet, who served 32 years in the House, including several years as Speaker, before winning a Senate seat in 1924—interestingly, also in Massachusetts.) Markey has a reputation as a strong progressive and came out swinging in his announcement:
"With Senator Kerry's departure, Massachusetts voters will decide once again whether we want a Senator who will fight for all our families or one who supports a Republican agenda that benefits only the powerful and well-connected. I refuse to allow the Tea Party-dominated Republican Party to lead us off the fiscal cliff and into recession. I won't allow the NRA to obstruct an assault weapons ban yet again. I will not sit back and allow oil and coal industry lobbyists to thwart our clean energy future or extremists to restrict women's rights and health care."
Markey's not likely to have the field to himself, as a number of other prominent Democrats are still considering the race—as is outgoing GOP Sen. Scott Brown. Markey hasn't faced a competitive election since his first primary all the way back in 1976, but he enters the race with at least one serious advantage: He's got over $3.1 million stashed away in his campaign account, considerably more than the six-figure sums that fellow Reps. Stephen Lynch and Mike Capuano (who are also weighing the race) have on hand. And given his reputation and voting record, liberal groups may rally around him as their standard-bearer. For now, though, game officially on.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Elections on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 12:30 PM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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