Staff Reports On: 12:14PM / Friday January 11, 2013
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — State Sen. Benjamin B. Downing will not be running in the upcoming special election for the U.S. Senate.
Downing released a statement Friday saying that after considering all aspects of the race — "especially financial" — he decided not to run in the special election to replace U.S. Sen. John Kerry, who was nominated for Secretary of State.
"Over the past three weeks, I have spoken with family, friends and colleagues throughout the state about a possible run for the U.S. Senate," Downing said in the statement. "The response was overwhelmingly positive, not only from my friends in Western Mass., but from fellow public servants, party activists and citizens of all stripes. I will be forever grateful for their words of encouragement, advice, and endorsement."
He continued, "I wish their faith in me was enough to sustain a campaign, but I know that every consideration – especially financial – must be made before a race of this type is undertaken. After considering every aspect of a possible campaign, I have determined that I will not be a candidate for the U.S. Senate in the upcoming special election."
The move would have been a large jump for the young Senator, but one he was confident he could take. Downing said he would have been able to "energize" the younger voter across the state by bringing a "fresh face" to government.
Since then, U.S. Rep. Edward J. Markey of the 5th Congressional District announced a campaign and reeled in endorsements from key Democrats across the state - including Kerry, Vicki Kennedy, former U.S. Sen. Edward Kennedy's widow, and former U.S. Congressman Barney Frank, who is expected to be appointed to the seat until the election.
Markey also has received endorsement and financial assistance from the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.
U.S. Rep. Michael Capuano and Stephen Lynch are both still considering runs at the seat. On the Republican side, former U.S. Sen. Scott Brown has hinted that he too would be in the running.
But don't expect Downing to stay in his current position forever. Downing has previously considered running for the U.S. House of Representatives and doesn't hide his desire to move up the ranks. Downing is in his fourth term in the state Senate.
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The state is holding a special election to fill the seat vacated by John F. Kerry, who has been confirmed as U.S. secretary of state.
The state primary is Tuesday, April 30. The last day to register to vote or to change party affiliation for the primary is Wednesday, April 10. Enrolled voters may only vote in their party primary; unenrolled voters may select a primary to vote in without changing their status.
The special election is scheduled for Tuesday, June 25. The last day to register to vote in the election is Wednesday, June 5.
To register to vote, one must be at least age 18 by the date of the election, a U.S. citizen and a resident of the municipality in which you are voting.