(CNN) - Ted Kennedy's widow Thursday formally endorsed Democratic nominee Martha Coakley's bid to fill the final three years of the term of the late senator from Massachusetts.
"Time and again Martha Coakley has answered the call for public service," said Vicki Kennedy.
"My husband fought for health care reform for more than 40 years. He called it the cause of his life. He believed that health care for all our citizens was a fundamental right and not a privledge," added Kennedy. "Martha Coakley shares those beliefs and she'll go to Washington to fight for us."
Former Rep. Joseph Kennedy, the late senator's nephew, and Sen. Paul Kirk, a long time adviser and friend to Ted Kennedy who is serving as his interim replacement, were among others who attended the campaign event in Medford, Massachusetts.
Vicki Kennedy avoided endorsing any candidate during the Democratic primary campaign, but she supported Coakley, who is the state's attorney general, after she won the December 8 election against three opponents.
Coakley is facing off against Republican nominee Scott Brown, a state senator, in the January 19 election. Joseph Kennedy, a third party candidate who is not related to the late senator, is also in the race.
The 77 year old Kennedy, who died of brain cancer in August, was the fourth-longest serving senator in American history.
"Senator Kennedy was one of our nation's greatest advocates for justice, equality, and those less fortunate," Coakley said in prepared comments. "It is incredibly humbling to receive the support of the members of the Kennedy family as well as Senator Kirk. While no one can ever fill Senator Kennedy's shoes, I will work every day to follow in his footsteps and fight for issues such as meaningful health care reform and equal rights for all."
Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @psteinhausercnn
If she supports and will fight for middle class America, as Ted Kennedy did, than she most certainly needs to win this election.
Who cares what some politicians spouse, widow, son or daughter has to say or who they endorse. I can read gossip in the enqirer or the E! Channel.
Sorry, no matter what spin his democratic colleagues use, Ted wasn't good for the country. Follow his pathetic, but long career. I hope that MA decides to elect an honest, moral person.
(Then again, the corrupt democrats of the state changed the law twice in order to keep a republican from being appointed.... and to get their precious 60th vote)
Vote for SCOTT BROWN!
Anyone who is fighting for the debacle known as the "healthcare bill" is NOT fighting for the American people.
C'mon, this is news? Who else is she going to endorse?
Doesn't the Mass legislature just do whatever they want when it comes to vacated seats, to fit the needs of teh Democratic party?
This is GREAT news for Scott Brown!!
In the Ultra-Blue People's Republic of Massachusetts, he's narrowed Coakley's lead from 26 points to single digits.
A Kennedy endorsement might put him over the top.
Well that should make all the difference in the world.
Coakley can win on her own.
The Kennedy endorsement means nothing.
Teddy and Caroline endorsed Barack Obama over Hillary yet Hillary won MA in a landslide – 15 points.
i am completely SHOCKED that a loony liberal would back another loony liberal in Massachusetts.
Republicans have never been the solution to American problems, republicans, the party of Betty the birther, are the problem.
Vote for democrats in 2010!
Who cares who she endorses.........it means nothing to us little people.
I almost forgot to donate to Brown's campaign. Thanks for reminding me.
If Brown beats Coakley we have a chance at stopping this massive spending bill masquerading as health care reform. We have a chance to stop these liberal democrats from stealing millions of tax payer’s dollars.
Obama said we could watch it on C Span....but it looks like he'll only be able to get "D-" Span.....Wilson was right about this guy. He's a liar and the rest of the libs are thieves.
I heard this race was within 9 points. You know the Democrats are hurtin' when there is a relatively close race with a Republican in the Peoples Republic of Massachusetts! It'l be interesting to see where it ends up.
A Republican winning would the equivalent of a 9.8 earthquake in political terms.
Do the Mass voters really care who she endorses ?
It IS a fundemental right for ALL to have health care.....but the distinction going on right now..is the avenue to obtain it. When it involves maniputlation of dollars, outright stealing..and deception...that is NOT the right path to obtain health care for all....IT MUST BE honest in ALL it's dealings...anything short is going to be exposed. I think Ted would agree.
The key question is not who approves in political power land, but how much integrity does this person live. An endorsement can be a mixed bag. Quiet as it's kept, Mr. Kennedy was no god (no one is!) and he made some very bad choices just like all of us have done. Judge not lest ye be judged is some good advice. While we all tend to make assumptions, this is good advice. Peace