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slides: Which Candidate Has the Best Shot at Kerry’s Seat?

Saturday, January 12, 2013

 

Massachusetts voters will likely face another special election this year after John Kerry received President Obama's nomination for Secretary of State. Experts discuss which candidate has the best chance to take the seat.

Ed Markey

Congressman Edward Markey of Malden is the Dean of both the Massachusetts and New England House delegations. Markey is quickly shaping up to be the top Democrat in the running, and Darrell West of the Brookings Institute says he will run to the finish line.

“It will be a competitive race between Scott Brown and Ed Markey. Each are well-known in Massachusetts and has a strong following in their respective parties,” he said.

Associate Professor of Political Science at Clark University, Srinivasan Sitaraman said, “Early signs suggest that Congressman Ed Markey is already getting some endorsements from outgoing Senator John Kerry and from Vicki Kennedy. But it is a little too early to predict how the race will play out with some aspirants in the mix.”

Michael Capuano

Representative Michael Capuano is another Democrat from the Baystate’s 7th Congressional District that has been pegged as a major contender for Kerry’s soon-to-be-open seat.

Governor Deval Patrick has stated that a Democratic primary before the special election would help to connect the party behind one solid candidate, and West agrees.

“Democrats need to reunify around a single candidate in order to avoid handing this seat to Republicans,” he said.

Scott Brown

After losing the 2012 senate race to Elizabeth Warren, former Republican senator Scott Brown said, “Defeat is only temporary,” hinting at his intentions to continue his political career.

“It is widely believed that the Republican Senator Scott Brown who lost his seat to Harvard Professor Elizabeth Warren will run for Senate again to fill the seat vacated by Senator Kerry,” said Sitaraman. “Democrats worry that if Scott Brown does indeed run again they will lose the sliver of control they have in the Senate."

Sitaraman also pointed out that Massachusetts Democrats “have every reason to be worried” due to WBUR’s latest poll.

“Senator Brown has also been mentioned as a potential 2016 presidential candidate,” he said. “So he has to weigh his future political ambitions rather than jumping into the race again. Surely the Republicans would love to upset the balance in the Senate by grabbing one more seat.”

West added that Brown's resurgence after his loss was significant, and a sign for the future: “It is impressive how quickly Brown has regained strong positive ratings since his election loss to Warren. His best shot is a special election with low turnout, which plays to his Republican base.

“Brown and Warren should be able to put their differences aside and work to advance state interests. It is in neither of their interests to have a public feud based on their past electoral contest,” West said.

Still, Sitaraman says there is some risk for Brown if he chooses to run again.

“Say he runs and loses by a small margin to the Democratic opponent; he would run the risk of developing some negative energy around his future political prospects.”

Stephen Lynch

Congressman Stephen Lynch has said he’s “giving serious consideration” to a Senate run, but he knows it would be an uphill battle against his opponent and other Democrats in the potential primary.

Reports are surfacing that Lynch will be announcing soon whether or not he will officially be taking the plunge.

Keith Ablow

Psychiatrist and author, Dr. Kieth Ablow might not seem like your usual candidate, but the Newbury doctor says he is considering running if neither William Weld nor Scott Brown step up for the position.

In an interview with Fox News, Ablow said his children pushed him to his decision because the future is uncertain.

Ablow also said that the Newtown, Ct. shooting was a part of his decision to consider running, saying that he wishes the teachers had been armed.

“These guns aren’t the problem,” he said. “I’m a doctor and I like to go with a fact.”

He added that disarming people doesn’t help since assault weapons are used in a minority of shootings.

“We need people to come forward now to serve,” he said. “I think the party needs to unite behind one philosophy. We need to know soon who that person will be.”

William Weld

Former Bay State governor and one-time Kerry opponent Bill Weld, is another potential Republican to go for the seat.

While Brown has a loyal following in Massachusetts, the Republican party is arguably in need of a push, and Weld still holds favor in the Commonwealth as well.

Weld has not denied his intention of running, leaving many to wonder about his future in politics.

Victoria Kennedy

Before a special election is held in the spring, Governor Patrick will need to appoint an interim senator to act for four to five months. This leaves a rare chance for some other faces to enter the mix, including Victoria Kennedy, the widow of the late Senator Ted Kennedy.

While Kennedy has thrown her support behind Ed Markey for the eventual special election, she still has not said whether she would decline appointment as the interim senator.

Some Democrats are hoping Kennedy would run for the position, but they will have to wait to see whether she takes a shot at the seat, if only for a few months.

Barney Frank

Democrat Barney Frank, who served in the U.S. House of Representatives until January 3, 2013, has stirred up political commentators with his very public pitch for the interim senator job.

The Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC), a group which also threw support behind now-Senator Elizabeth Warren, has started an online petition for Frank, saying, “As Elizabeth Warren opposes any cuts to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid benefits, we can't afford to have our other senator be lukewarm, undecided, or uncertain. We need someone who we are 100% confident will fight right alongside her. Barney Frank is that person. Please appoint him as our interim senator.”

As of January 11, the online petition had nearly 30,000 signatures at AppointBarneyFrank.com, according to the PCCC.

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Ed Markey

Ed Markey represents Massachusett's 5th congressional district most recently and has represented the 7th congressional district and the 16th Middlesex district in the state House of Representatives. Markey is a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, and the National Journal gave him a "Composite Liberal" score of 89.2.

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Michael Capuano

Michael Capuano represents the state's 7th congressional district. While his political career is marked with succcesses, if Capuano lost the race, it wouldn't be his first. He lost a race for Secretary of the Commonwealth in 1994.

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Scott Brown

Scott Brown lost his senate seat in the 2012 election to challenger Elizabeth Warren.

If Brown was to win this seat, it wouldn't be his first special election. He beat current state Attorney General, Martha Coakley, during the 2010 special election after the passing of Senator Ted Kennedy.

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Stephen Lynch

Stephen Lynch represents Massachusetts' 8th district, and has won two special elections in his political career.

In 1995, he won a special election to succeed state Senator William Bulger, and entered the state senate. He won a special election to represent the 9th district as a Congressman in 2001, and has been reelected since.

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Keith Ablow

Keith Ablow has never held a public office, but has tossed his hat into the ring. Dr. Ablow is a psychiatrist who once hosted a talk show, syndicated by Warner Brothers.

He has appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show, the Today Show, and Nancy Grace, as well as Montel, Sally Jesse, and Maury Povich.

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William Weld

During Bill Weld's time as Governor, he reined in the state's borrowing, controlled Medicaid spending, and reduced property taxes.

The business community reacted strongly to Weld's leadership.

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Interim - Vicki Kennedy

Victoria Kennedy's late husband, Senator Ted Kennedy expressed wishes for her to be in politics.

The NY Daily News reported in 2008, "Multiple sources in Massachusetts with close ties to the liberal lion say his wife of 16 years has long been his choice to continue carrying the family flame in the Senate."

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Interim - Barney Frank

Barney Frank served as chairman of the House Financial Services Committee (2007–2011) and was a leading co-sponsor of the 2010 Dodd–Frank Act.

He served 32 years in Congress before leaving office earlier this month.

 
 

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Comments:

Iron Mike Farquhar

Oh, this is sooo hard...

Let's see which one has the worst driving record. Any DUIs or Leaving the Scenes?

Which so-called 'Lawmaker' has taken the most government-paid trips abroad?

Which one has relatives with state and federal convictions?

Which one(s) have never had a bill passed?

Which ones [besides Bwarny] has done the most to bankrupt our country and send business overseas.

Which one(s) have never served in the military, are gun phobic, and can't tell you the difference between Sunni and Shia.

Which one will bend over backwards to the GLBT lobby and insist we send more GLBT ambassadors to Islamic countries?

Which ones aren't worried about our $16.4 Trillion national DEBT, - '...because the government can always print more money!'

The worm with the most points in these categories is the snake Masswholes will want serving alongside Senator Squaw!

Tax Payer Citizen

Well said Mike!

Stephen Quist

The real question is who would best represent Massachusetts interests in DC......and that person is our current state treasurer Steve Grossman......unfortunately with the poisened climate now prevailing in DC by the extremists republiCants today it makes no sense electing a republiCant that would be disowned by their own party......in todays republiCant world moderation and compromise are dirty words.......




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