Rep. Stephen Lynch Announces Run for U.S. Senate

Rep. Ed Markey Welcomes Rival to Race, Urges Him to Sign "The People's Pledge"

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Rep. Stephen Lynch, a 12-year veteran of the U.S. House of Representatives, announced his candidacy to replace Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry in the Senate. Lynch will face Rep. Ed Markey in a Democratic primary in the spring.

Lynch kicked off his campaign online with a YouTube video , highlighting his humble beginnings and "up by his bootstraps" success story. Lynch followed his father into a career in iron work before going back to college, eventually earning a degree in law from Harvard. He began his campaign with an appearance in Springfield in the morning and a rally at the Iron Workers Local 7 Hall in South Boston in the afternoon.

Lynch has an uphill battle to defeat Markey in the primary. Markey already has several big-name endorsements , including one from Kerry himself. Victoria Kennedy, widow of the late Edward Kennedy, and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee have already announced their support for Markey, and Markey has appeared in public with new Sen. Elizabeth Warren. Markey, the longest-tenured member of the Massachusetts delegation, already has a sizable lead over Lynch in a recent poll as well. Lynch acknowledged the difficulty in a statement on his new campaign website . "This won't be the easiest campaign and we won't have all of the powerful insiders on our side, but the United States Senate is supposed to be about the people, not the powerful."

Markey officially welcomed Lynch to the campaign in a statement released today: " I urge him to join me in committing to the people's pledge to prevent outside special interests groups from injecting millions into this campaign. Time and again, I've stood up to big oil, Wall Street and the gun lobby, and this race should be about the people of Massachusetts having a voice in the Senate, not the special interests."

Scott Brown and Warren took "the people's pledge " during their campaign last year. The pledge sought to limit special interest influence and money. Both candidates agreed to donate half the cost of any third-party advertising that supported them to the charity of their opponent's choice.

Markey and Lynch will face off in a primary on April 30. The special election will be June 25.

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