By Globe Staff
A representative of Congressman Stephen Lynch took out nomination papers today at the Massachusetts secretary of state's office to run in the special election for the US Senate seat left vacant by the death of long-time Senator Edward M. Kennedy, an office spokesman said this morning.
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.
UPDATE: "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.
Candidates who want to be on the ballot as a major party nominee must collect at least 10,000 signatures 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 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 Thursday. A number of other people who are lesser known have also taken out papers, McNiff said.
About Political Intelligence
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.