Expected U.S. Senate special election taking shape in Massachusetts
Monday, December 31, 2012
With Democratic Senator of Massachusetts's nomination and likely approval as U.S. Barack Obama's choice to replace the retiring Hillary Clinton, Kerry's Senate seat is expected soon to be vacated, making necessary a to choose a new Senator. That potential race is now taking shape with two candidates having emerged as the frontrunners for their respective parties' nominations: Republican Senator and Democratic Representative .
Massachusetts law adopted in 2004 requires a vacated seat to be filled permanently through special election held 145 to 160 days following vacation. This law was passed purportedly to prevent then-Governor Mitt Romney, a Republican, from naming a replacement for Kerry, who was at the time, the Democratic presidential nominee. No such election occurred until long-time Senator died in office, vacating his seat in 2009. At the time, named Democrat as a temporary replacement. Kirk chose not to run for the seat, and instead the Democrats nominated Massachusetts Attorney General , who lost to Brown. Now, Patrick reportedly wishes to again name a temporary replacement who will not run in the special election. Candidates for this position include: , the widow of Ted Kennedy; former governor and ; and the retiring Congressman .
Amid the Senate's consideration of the Indiana, John McCain of Arizona, and of Maine each asked Brown to run for Senate again. He alluded to a potential return during his farewell address earlier in December, noting, "As I’ve said many times before, victory and defeat is temporary ... Depending on what happens, and where we go, all of us, we may obviously meet again." Though former Governor is also considered a potential Republican primary candidate, Brown leads him in opinion polls by a wide margin. Additionally, a December 17–18 poll conducted by shows Brown with a 58 percent favorability rate in his state and ahead of potential Democratic nominees Markey, former Congressman , and Congressmen and ., Brown's 2010 election broke the Democrats' filibuster-proof super-majority in the chamber. As the first Massachusetts Republican elected since in 1972, Brown gained a reputation in the Senate as a political moderate, stressing bipartisanship. However, in the most expensive Senate race in the nation's history in 2012, he lost the seat to the professor , who tied him to Senate Republicans. After the defeat, Republican Senators of
Patrick, Kennedy, Coakley, and Meehan have all denied interest in the seat as have other Democrats speculated to jump in including actorand attorney , Ted Kennedy's son. Though Lynch and Capuano have expressed interest in the seat, Markey is thus far the only announced candidate. In a statement to , Markey affirmed "this fight is too important" not to run and "there is so much at stake" in the election. He added that an official announcement would come in January. Markey, who has served in Congress since 1976, previously ran for the Senate seat in 1984 but withdrew before the primary; Kerry went on to win the primary and seat that year. Markey intends to focus his campaign on , , protection of and , and government spending for jobs. He has secured endorsements from both Kerry and Victoria Kennedy, and with a war chest of 3.1 million from his congressional campaigns, has significantly more funds than any of his potential primary opponents. According to political scientist Peter Ubertaccio of , that may discourage prominent Democrats thinking about entering the race. Nevertheless, State Senator has announced he is exploring a potential bid.
Though Markey has more money than Brown's $464,000 left from his 2012 campaign, Ubertaccio, in his analysis of the race, notes Brown has more recent campaign experience than Markey, who has not had a competitive campaign lately. Moreover, he finds Markey "very much a creature of Washington, which can be problematic in a tough statewide race." He sees the rush to support Markey as unusual, and as a way to discourage Democratic challengers to Markey. Jon Keller of Boston'saffiliate notes the rush was likely to allow Markey to begin attacks on Brown rather than Democrats, but he concludes the lack of choice for Democrats may give Brown an advantage as an outsider running against the insiders' hand-picked successor.
- "Scott Brown wins special election for Massachusetts's Senate seat in upset victory" — Wikinews, January 21, 2010
- "Republican leads race to fill Ted Kennedy's vacated US Senate seat" — Wikinews, January 15, 2010
- Frank Phillips. "Leaders in party support Markey" — , December 29, 2012
- Steve Benen. "Markey gets Kerry's praise, becomes frontrunner in Mass." — , December 28, 2012
- "Analyst: We can expect Scott Brown to run, to be the nominee" — , December 28, 2012
- "Markey picks up major support for Senate bid, including from Kerry" — , December 28, 2012
- Jon Keller. "Endorsements Likely Clear Path For Rep. Markey" — , December 28, 2012
- Mark Arsenault (US Rep. Edward Markey to run in Senate special election" — , December 27, 2012). "
- Rachel Weiner. "Ed Markey to run for Kerry’s Senate seat" — , December 27, 2012
- Robert Rizzuto. "Top 10 stories of 2012: Scott Brown, Elizabeth Warren conduct most expensive Senate race in United States history" — , December 26, 2012
- Ben Affleck won't run for US Senate in Mass." — , December 24, 2012. "
- Steve LeBlanc. "Yet another Senate race on the horizon in Mass." — , December 22, 2012
- Scott Wong. "GOP senators prod Scott Brown to run" — , December 21, 2012
- Fred Thys. "WBUR Poll: Brown Would Be In Strong Position For Special Election" — , December 20, 2012
- Noah Bierman (Senator Scott Brown’s final speech hints at return and opposes changes to Senate filibuster rules" — , December 12, 2012). "
- Scot Lehigh. "How about Bill Weld for US Senate?" — , December 12, 2012