Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley (D) on Thursday officially became the first candidate to jump into the special election for the late Sen. Edward Kennedy’s (D-Mass.) seat.
Coakley filed the paperwork this week with the Federal Election Commission to run for the seat and made her official announcement Thursday morning.
“I hope to bring my experience to Washington,— Coakley said at a Boston news conference. “I want to go to Washington to represent the commonwealth and to make government work for you to remove barriers, provide opportunities, and to renew the promise of our democracy.—
Not only will Coakley, a former prosecutor, likely be the only woman in the Democratic field, but she is also the only Democratic candidate who has won statewide office. In addition to the attorney general, several Members of Congress are considering a bid but have yet to come forward with a formal announcement, including Reps. Mike Capuano (D), Stephen Lynch (D) and Ed Markey (D).
Former Rep. Joe Kennedy (D), the late Senator’s nephew who left Congress for the private sector in 1999, is also thinking about running.
Former Red Sox Pitcher Curt Schilling has expressed interest in running for the seat, although he is not eligible to run in the GOP primary under Bay State election law because he is currently not registered with the Republican Party. Several other Republicans are considering running, including former Lt. Gov. Kerry Healey, businessman David Sukoff and state Sen. Scott Brown.
The special election has been set for Jan. 19, with primaries to be held Dec. 8. Massachusetts lawmakers may change state law to allow the governor to appoint an interim Senator who will serve until the special election.