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Top Democrats Try to Clear Senate Field for Markey, but Others Considering the Race

Scott J. Ferrell/CQ Roll Call File Photo
Markey, above, is the dean of the Massachusetts congressional delegation, but other Bay State Democrats may challenge him for Kerry’s Senate seat, should it become open.

Giselle Barry, a Markey spokeswoman, said in a statement Brown was “launching false, personal attacks from the sidelines.”

“Ed Markey lives in Malden, and has lived there his entire life. He and his wife own their home in Malden. He is proud to come from and represent the values of the people of Malden,” she said.

Malden is a middle-class town of about 60,000 people just north of Boston. Markey also has a home in Chevy Chase, Md.

If Markey’s long tenure in Congress can be framed as a weakness by Republicans, his legislative accomplishments can also be framed as a strength by Democrats.

Meehan said that Bay Staters want a senator who could move big legislation in the Senate, not just for them, but for the country, too.

“Voters are going to be looking for someone who can not just be good for Massachusetts, but can also have a national impact,” he said. “Ed Markey has that track record.”

Markey’s legislative accomplishments include the vast 1996 telecommunications law.

For his part, Meehan, who had $4.7 million in his dormant federal account at the end of September, said he wasn’t going to run for the Senate seat.

But some of his former colleagues haven’t made that decision — yet, anyway.

Last month, Capuano bristled at the DSCC’s endorsement, saying in a statement that “the big names of our party are trying to choose our nominee for us.” Noting he had won previous elections running against the establishment, Capuano said, “If I make this run, it will be the same way — from the streets up, not from the elite down.”

Ironically, it was Markey who ran against the establishment in a crowded 1976 open-seat primary when he first won his seat in Congress. He began his primary campaign as an ambitious 29-year-old state representative who had tangled with the Democratic establishment. He ended it by beating 11 opponents to get the Democratic nod.

Downing, the state senator eyeing a bid, got married on Sunday and met with advisers on Wednesday. The expectation is if he moves ahead with a run, he will do so in the next two weeks. One adviser hinted if he did run, he would run a “positive, grass-roots campaign.”

Once Kerry is confirmed, Democratic Gov. Deval Patrick is likely to appoint a placeholder senator who will pledge not to run in the special election, and the clock will start on the Senate special.

But until then, insiders said, each day that goes by without a challenger from his own party gives Markey a better shot to take on whomever his Republican challenger will be.

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