“Eight years ago I admit that I had a very different plan–slightly different anyway–to leave the Senate, but 61 million Americans voted that they wanted me to stay here with you.” John Kerry gave his farewell speech on the Senate floor on Wednesday before taking over as Secretary of State on Friday. His departure from the senate put in motion a Massachusetts special election on June 25th–after a potentially heated primary in mid May.
The first order of business for Massachusetts was to appoint an interim senator. On Wednesday Governor Deval Patrick announced his decision to appoint William “Mo” Cowan, his former chief of staff, to temporarily fill the Senate vacancy seat for the next five months. There had been widespread speculation that Governor Patrick would appoint Barney Frank, who was openly campaigning for the appointment. msnbc’s Steve Kornacki predicted Frank wouldn’t get the job. Steve believes the “Cowan appointment says something good about the evolution of politics in Massachusetts,” as Cowan will be one of two African-Americans in the U.S. Senate.
Who will get the Senate job fulltime? On the Republican side, Scott Brown is likely to run. He lost his own seat to Elizabeth Warren in the 2012 election. The Democratic side is harder to predict. Kornacki’s view: “Ed Markey, who is a liberal congressman, is going to be challenged by Steve Lynch, who is an iron worker, pro-life, social conservative, South Boston. Steve Lynch comes very much out of the conservative Democratic tradition of Massachuests politics.” With a primary battle before them, Steve predicts a Markey win.
A recent Politico poll gives Markey a significant lead over Lynch, 52% to 19%. And if Brown and Markey go head-to-head, Scott Brown currently leads 48-45.
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It's Cowan for now. Then...Markey? Brown? The Massachusetts Senate seat