Representative Stephen F. Lynch, Democrat of South Boston, said today he is “close friends” with the family of Martin Richard, the eight-year-old boy who died in Monday’s attacks.

In a press availability, Lynch said he’s known the family for years and that Richard’s mother had worked with Lynch’s wife at a local nursing home.

“We spent some time with them last night and overnight, ’til the early morning hours,” the Congressman said.

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Bill Richard, Martin’s father, confirmed in a statement this morning that his son had died in the attack and that “his wife and daughter are both recovering from serious injuries.”

Lynch said the daughter was “grievously wounded.” He added that Bill Richard had been hurt as well, with injuries to his legs.

Lynch said Bill Richard was not a participant in the race, but that the family was there to cheer on runners who were in the marathon for charity.

“Mom and Dad brought their three kids and that’s what they were doing, they were intently looking in that crowd of runners coming in to see if they could find their friends,” Lynch said.

“They’re carrying a pretty heavy burden,” Lynch said. “They can feel the love though, they can feel their support of their neighbors, the city, the state and country.”.

Lynch is running for the state’s open Senate seat, though he, along with the four other candidates, suspended campaign activities on Monday after the blasts. Lynch will face Representative Edward J. Markey in the Democratic primary on April 30. The winner will square off with one of the three Republican nominees in the June 25 special election.

The Republican candidates are former Navy SEAL Gabriel E. Gomez, former US Attorney Michael J. Sullivan, and state Representative Daniel B. Winslow.