Representative Ed Markey throws his hat into the Senate race

MALDEN — One day after former Senator Scott Brown announced he would not run in the special Senate race for John Kerry’s vacated seat, Representative Ed Markey, a Democrat from Malden, formally announced his plan to make a run for the spot in the US Senate.

In a 20-minute speech at the Malden YMCA where Markey played basketball as a child, he made no mention of the Republican who would have been perhaps his most fearsome opponent.

Instead, he regaled a crowd of about 500 supporters in the gymnasium with stories about his hometown roots, and declared that he seeks a seat in the Senate to stem the tide of climate change, oppose the National Rifle Association, work toward a federal ban on assault rifles, curb America’s dependence on foreign oil, and support President Barack Obama’s policies on Capitol Hill.

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“I am running for the US Senate to put the American dream within the reach of all Massachusetts residents,” said Markey, 66, as his wife, Susan, stood to the side on the stage. “I am running to move President Barack Obama’s agenda forward.”

Markey also made no mention of another challEnger for the Democratic primary, fellow US Representative Stephen F. Lynch, who announced this week that he also plans to vie for Kerry’s seat.

Throughout his speech, Markey listed issues and bills for which he had advocated during his 36 years in the House of Representatives. Much of his address centered on environmental advocacy, global warming, clean energy, and fuel emissions — a subject that drew some of the loudest bouts of applause from the audience.

Markey said he plans to combat staunch conservatives and find ways to work together with more moderate Republicans while staying loyal to his Democrat base.

“This campaign will travel every mile, to every corner of Massachusetts,” Markey said. “I know when the chips are down, we Democrats don’t agonize, we organize.”

After his speech, Markey told a gaggle of reporters that Brown’s bowing-out did not affect his strategy for the coming months of the campaign.

“My intention has always been to campaign for every vote, to do so in every community in the state, and my plan remains unchanged,” Markey said. “I’m going to go to every community and discuss the issues which I think are most important and to earn the votes of every person within the state.”

The representative maintained that the lack of a clear challenger from the Republican field did not concern him.

“Senator Brown and his family I’m sure made a very difficult decision that I respect, and I wish him the best and I wish his family the best going forward,” Markey said. “And I welcome any Republican into this race who is willing to talk about the issues, willing to have a real discussion about the the important issues which the people of Massachusetts want to have discussed.”