(CNN) - Rep. Ed Markey of Massachusetts said Thursday he will seek the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Sen. John Kerry, who was nominated to become the next secretary of state last week.
Markey's announcement makes him the first to publicly announce will seek the seat.
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"I have decided to run for the U.S. Senate because this fight is too important," he wrote in an email to people who signed up for updates from his Senate website. "There is so much at stake. We need a senator who will work with President Obama, and anyone else, to move our country and our Commonwealth forward."
The Democratic congressman is the most senior member of the Massachusetts delegation and was elected to his 19th term in November.
President Barack Obama nominated Kerry on Friday to serve as his next secretary of state, and Kerry is expected to be confirmed easily by the Senate.
Two possible contenders - Ted Kennedy Jr., the eldest son of the late senator, and actor Ben Affleck - considered a bid for Kerry's seat, but have recently said they will not run.
Markey is said to have considered running for the seat in 1984 upon the retirement of Sen. Paul Tsongas. But he did not run, and the seat was won that year by Kerry.
Other Democratic contenders could include Reps. Michael Capuano and Stephen Lynch. Sen. Scott Brown, who was elected in a 2010 special election but lost his re-election bid this year, is considered a possible candidate on the Republican side.
After Markey's announcement, Lynch said in a statement: "I look forward to Senator Kerry's confirmation as our next Secretary of State. Once confirmed, we will need to fill the vacancy and keep a strong voice in the Senate on behalf of Massachusetts families. While I am giving serious thought to running for the U.S. Senate and have received great encouragement, at this point I am still focused on my job as a Congressman and am working with my colleagues in the Massachusetts delegation to find solutions to the fiscal cliff."
Markey wrote, "We need to invest in innovation and jobs, protect Social Security and Medicare, institute sane policies on guns and violence, and curb the pollution that is causing global warming."
He had a basic campaign website and online fundraising apparatus posted as of Thursday afternoon.
– CNN Political Editor Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report
well this senate sits didn get cold well whats markey good for money taxes or he for the rich people
I don't wanna sound pessimistic but that guy looks like a loser. Younger more attractive Scott Brown will beat him easily
I think that it would be a mistake for anyone to make their first plunge into politcs at the US Senate level nowadays. As much as Ted, Jr. had name recognition, his record is one that unknown by the majority of people. I suspect Republicans would have taken a page from the Obama playbook, "The Romney Plan", and adapted it to their own purposes.
Markey is a DC lifer, a member of the good ole boys club. Scott Brown would easily defeat him.
Markey says we need someone that will work with the president. The senate hasn't done anything the last 4 years.
The Liberal's want to expand the nanny state but they want the conservatives to pay for it. It was a terrefic plan the liberal's cooked up 75 years ago.
Yay! I was hoping Markey would step up to the plate on this!
Sorry Scottie!!! But BOTH of those Massachusetts Senate seats will be back in the "D" column. Suck it up!
Yeah, he and the squaw will make Mass. proud.
Excellent choice, and an easy kick to the head to Scott Brown. Brown doesn't relfect the voice of Massachusset's and Markety definitely does.
Any dem would be better then another gop obstructionist !!!!
Scottie will beat him easily? Yeah, sure........you probably said Scottie would be re-elected easily too. Didn't happen though.......I believe the good people of the commonwealth have had their fill of Scottie. Markey is well known up there and is a popular political figure. My money is on him.
Any dem would be better
No way will Scott Brown get the seat. There is a reason he was voted out!!!
Ed Markey works for the people, Scott Brown works for the party.....or himself....or both......but definitely not for the people.
We don't need another obstructionist in the Senate.