Matthew J. Lee/Globe Staff
A representative of Congressman Stephen Lynch took out nomination papers today at the Massachusetts secretary of state's office in Boston to run in the special election for the seat left vacant by the death of longtime Senator Edward M. Kennedy.
"This morning I took the first step in launching my candidacy for the United States Senate," Lynch said this afternoon in a statement. "The seriousness and urgency of this decision is compounded by the untimely passing of my friend and colleague, Senator Ted Kennedy and by the momentous challenges that lie ahead for our Commonwealth and our Country.
"This is the first step, and over the next week or so I will finalize my plans," Lynch said.
Lynch had said Thursday night after a health care forum at Curry College in Milton that he was mulling a run and would take out nomination papers, even if he ultimately decided not to run.
If Lynch runs, he will be joining Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley, who officially announced Thursday that she will vie for the office held by Kennedy for 47 years.
Candidates who wish to be on the ballot as the nominees of the major parties must return the petitions with at least 10,000 signatures to local registrars of voters by Oct. 20, then pick up the certified signatures and bring them to the secretary of state's office by Nov. 3, said secretary of state's spokesman Brian McNiff.
The primary is on Dec. 8 and the election is on Jan. 19.
Lynch said after the forum he was weighing family concerns as he thought about making a run.
"I want to make sure my family is on board. They deal with this back-and-forth to Washington. I'm aware that the Senate schedule is sometimes more aggressive. They have 100 people dealing with issues we have 435 people dealing with. Obviously, there are adjustments there," he said. "The family issues are very, very important."
Asked how he would distinguish himself from other candidates in the race, Lynch said his experience growing up in public housing and working 20 years as an ironworker gave him an uncommon perspective in Congress.
"I think I've had a sort of grassroots perspective and connection -- which comes from my own experience -- with the people I represent," he said.
He said he would make a decision on whether to run "very soon."
Coakley's camp had already picked up nomination papers before her formal announcement. A number of other people who are lesser known have also taken out papers, McNiff said.
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