Long-term Congressman Ed Markey’s announcement that he’ll run in a special election to fill Senator John Kerry’s Senate seat (once Kerry is confirmed for Secretary of State) starts the new campaign season (did the old one ever stop?) with a splash. The dean of the Massachusetts delegation is highly accomplished, and he is said to have more than $3 million already in his war chest.
While Markey lacks the statewide recognition of one of the Kennedys, he is clearly better qualified and prepared than either Vicki or Teddy, Jr to serve in the Senate. Ted, Jr. has already indicated he’s not going to run. Vicki Kennedy has reportedly said she isn’t interested, but some national Democrats were eager for her to do so. Optimally, those national Dems will now get behind Markey.
Mike Capuano is a scrappy liberal and a real fighter for progressive causes. He took his shot in the special Senate election primary in 2010, losing to Matha Coakley in a multi-candidate race. It’s legitimate to think that his temperament may be better suited to the roiling House, especially now.
South Boston’s Steve Lynch is a sleeper, never given enough credit for being highly intelligent and for having grown significantly in his years in the House. However, his passionate anti-choice position is not in line with the views of the statewide electorate. That said, if Capuano and Markey both get in, they and others could split the left of center vote and center-right Lynch could prevail in a low-turnout primary. In that eventuality, the Democrats might not be able to block the reelection of Republican Scott Brown.
The only thing that is absolutely clear at this point is that political junkies will have plenty to occupy them in winter-spring 2013, with a special election for Senate and a Boston mayoral election this fall. Never a dull moment!
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