BOSTON — U.S. Rep. Edward Markey, the dean of the Massachusetts Congressional delegation, announced his intention yesterday to run for the U.S. Senate seat if John Kerry is confirmed, as expected, as the nation’s next secretary of state.
“The events of the last several weeks — from the devastation of Hurricane Sandy and the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary to the fiscal cliff debate over tax giveaways to the rich — have all made clear that Massachusetts needs a senator with the right priorities and values. I have decided to run for the U.S. Senate because this fight is too important. There is so much at stake,” Markey said in a statement.
Markey, 66, has served 18 terms in the House of Representatives after first being elected to Congress from Malden in 1976. In November, he was re-elected to another two-year term in the newly configured 5th Congressional District. He would not have to give up his seat to run for the Senate in a special election.
With Congressional leaders and President Obama trying to broker a deal to avoid automatically triggered tax increases and spending cuts from taking effect on Jan. 1, Markey said he feels as though “we are fighting the same old Republican Party” and a GOP agenda “that benefits only the powerful and well-connected.”
“I refuse to allow the Tea Party-dominated Republican Party to lead us off the fiscal cliff and into recession. I won’t allow the NRA to obstruct an assault weapons ban yet again. I will not sit back and allow oil and coal industry lobbyists to thwart our clean energy future or extremists to restrict women’s rights and health care,” Markey said.
The congressman called for investments in innovation and jobs, protection for Social Security and Medicare, a “sane approach” to gun violence and a strategy to curb carbon pollution and global warming that also moves the country toward energy independence.