Representative Edward J. Markey, the longest serving House member from Massachusetts, announced late today that he will not seek the Senate seat opened by Edward M. Kennedy's death.
Markey, a Malden Democrat, said he could do more as a senior member in the House than as a freshman US senator. He has been active on global warming issues and on health care.
“I have had the honor to serve the people of the Seventh Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives for 33 years, and am now the eighth most senior Democrat," he said in a statement. "I believe that my leadership positions and seniority in the House allow me to accomplish more for my Congressional District and for Massachusetts. I have therefore decided not to become a candidate for the Senate.
“I have been humbled by the outpouring of friendship and support that I have received from those who have urged me to enter the Senate race. However, I have concluded that, as the Dean of the Massachusetts and New England House Delegations, as the Chairman of the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming and the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and the Environment, as well as a senior Member of the Natural Resources Committee, I can have the greatest impact on the issues facing the people of our state through my leadership positions in the House," Markey's statement continued.
“There is much important work to get done -- fighting for to improve the quality and affordability of health care for all, advancing an innovation agenda for the high tech and clean tech sectors that will create American jobs and working to protect our precious planet for generations to come.
“I look forward to working with our House Delegation, Senator Kerry, and our next Senator to assure that though our friend, Ted Kennedy, is no longer with us, Massachusetts continues to have a powerful voice on the issues affecting our nation’s future.”
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Glen Johnson is Politics Editor at boston.com and lead blogger for "Political Intelligence." He moved to Massachusetts in the fourth grade, and has covered local, state, and national politics for over 25 years. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.