Massachusetts Democratic Rep. Edward J. Markey is staffing up in anticipation of a Senate special election and has hired Sarah Benzing as his campaign manager.
Benzing ran Ohio Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown's successful re-election campaign in 2012 and New York Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand's race in 2011.
"Sarah is the best choice to lead this campaign of big issues and ideas,” Markey said in a statement. "Her proven track-record managing grassroots campaigns shows she has the leadership, know-how and passion to lead this campaign to victory."
Markey also recently hired Colleen Coffey and Michael Pratt for his finance team. Both were instrumental in Sen. Elizabeth Warren's massively successful fundraising operation in her victory over Republican Scott P. Brown in Massachusetts two months ago.
A special election will be officially called by Gov. Deval Patrick, D, after Sen. John Kerry's expected confirmation as secretary of State.
Markey has the official backing of Kerry and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, among others — but also the doubts of some influential voices among the grass roots.
He is currently the only announced candidate for the Senate special election. Massachusetts Democratic Reps. Michael E. Capuano and Stephen F. Lynch are eyeing the race, as is a local rabbi, Jonah Pesner. Brown has not yet said whether he'll run.