Representative Michael E. Capuano, the only congressman to run for US Senate in the 2010 special election to replace the late Democrat Edward M. Kennedy, announced today that he will not run in any special election to replace Senator John F. Kerry.
“After careful consideration, I have decided not to enter the race for US Senate,” Capuano, the former mayor of Somerville, said in a one-paragraph statement. “Instead, I look forward to focusing on the important issues facing the new Congress. My current work in the House and whatever opportunities the future may hold, afford me the greatest honor of my life, fighting for the citizens of the Commonwealth.”
Representative Edward J. Markey of Malden has already secured key endorsements and fund-raising help, giving him momentum toward the Democratic nomination. State politicos say they also expect Representative Stephen F. Lynch of South Boston to announce his candidacy once Kerry resigns.
President Obama has nominated Kerry for secretary of state, and the Senate is expected to confirm him before the end of the month.
Lynch, a former ironworker, has tried to muster union support to his cause, arguing that he would bring a blue-collar perspective to the clubby Senate. Some Democrats also believe that Markey is largely untested after having avoided a strong campaign challenger since being elected to Congress 36 years ago.
Former senator Scott Brown has hinted he may seek the Republican Senate nomination. He was knocked out of office in November by Democrat Elizabeth Warren.
In December 2009, Capuano was defeated for the Democratic Senate nomination by Attorney General Martha Coakley. She went on a month later to lose the special election to Brown.
Brown, in turn, lost the office when he sought a full, six-year term this past fall.
The winner of any special election to replace Kerry would serve until 2014, when his term is due to expire.
The special election must be held 145 days to 160 days from Kerry’s resignation, during which time an interim senator appointed by Governor Deval Patrick will hold the seat.