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December 28, 2012

Markey: I'm running for Sen. Kerry's seat

BOSTON (AP) — U.S. Rep. Edward Markey plans to run for John Kerry’s Senate seat if Kerry becomes the nation’s next secretary of state.

Markey, the dean of the state’s congressional delegation, issued a statement yesterday saying the events of recent weeks, including the devastation of Hurricane Sandy, the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary and the ongoing fiscal cliff debate, have made it clear to him that Massachusetts needs a senator with what he called the “right priorities and values.”

“I have decided to run for the U.S. Senate because this fight is too important. There is so much at stake,” the Malden Democrat said in a statement.

Markey, who was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1976, pointed to a handful of top issues, saying he’ll refuse “to allow the tea party-dominated Republican Party to lead us off the fiscal cliff and into recession” or let the National Rifle Association obstruct an assault weapons ban. He also said he won’t allow “oil and coal industry lobbyists to thwart our clean energy future or extremists to restrict women’s rights and health care.”

Markey said his priorities also include investing in jobs and protecting Social Security and Medicare.

“We need ... a national policy that makes our country energy independent and curbs the pollution that is causing global warming and fueling extreme weather events,” he added.

President Barack Obama’s decision last week to nominate Kerry as secretary of state means Massachusetts voters are facing their third Senate election since 2010.

If Kerry is confirmed by his fellow senators, which is expected, the long-serving Democrat would have to resign the seat he’s held for nearly three decades.

That would force Democratic Gov. Deval Patrick to appoint someone to serve on a temporary basis in Kerry’s seat until a special election could be scheduled between 145-160 days after his resignation.

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