Massachusetts Congressman Edward J. Markey announced his endorsement Tuesday of fellow Congressman Michael E. Capuano in his bid for the vacant Senate seat of the late Edward M. Kennedy ’54-’56.
Capuano, who decided to run in early September, represents the 8th Congressional District of Massachusetts, which includes Cambridge, Boston, Somerville, and Chelsea.
“Mike [Capuano] combines the street smarts of Somerville with the decisiveness of his Dartmouth education,” Markey said at a press conference Tuesday.
“Having worked with him in Congress for the last 11 years, I know that he will be a passionate and effective force for progressive values in the United States Senate,” Markey said.
Markey had also been expected to run for the seat, but shortly after Capuano declared his candidacy, Markey announced that he would not pursue the position.
“I am thrilled to have Ed’s endorsement of my candidacy,” Capuano said at the press conference. “His commitment to my campaign demonstrates a recognition of what I’ve accomplished in the U.S. House and of what I can achieve as a senator.”
Markey is the longest serving congressman from Massachusetts and one of the most senior Democrats in the House. Markey said that his seniority in the House would make him more useful there as an advocate for Massachusetts than he could be as a freshman senator.
So far, Capuano has been endorsed by seven of the nine other congressmen from Massachusetts. Representative Niki Tsongas endorsed Mass. Attorney General Martha Coakley, and Representative William D. Delahunt has not yet issued an endorsement.
Capuano has also received endorsements from former Mass. Governor Michael S. Dukakis and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.
Representative Patrick J. Kennedy, the late Senator’s son elected from Rhode Island’s 1st Congressional District, praised Capuano but stopped short of endorsing him for the Senate seat.
Capuano’s competition for the Democratic nomination currently consists of Coakley, Institute of Politics Fellow Alan A. Khazei ’83, and Boston Celtics owner Stephen G. Pagliuca.
Voter turnout for the election is expected to be low because of the unusual timing—the primary will be held next Monday, Dec. 8, and the final election will be on Jan. 19.