Frank Backs Markey in Special Election

Trieu H Ton

When it comes to endorsements, Ed Markey is on a roll.

Former Congressman Barnett "Barney" Frank '61-'62 announced this week that he's supporting fellow Democrat Rep. Edward J. Markey in the special election that will commence later this year if Senator John F. Kerry is confirmed as Secretary of State.

Frank's endorsement comes as yet another small triumph for Markey, who in recent weeks has seen many prominent Massachusetts Democrats, including Victoria Reggie Kennedy and Kerry himself, voice their support for his candidacy.

President Obama nominated Kerry to the post in December, and the longtime senior Senator from Massachusetts is expected to be easily confirmed in the coming weeks. Assuming confirmation, a law passed in 2006 by the Massachusetts legislature dictates that a special election must be held within 160 days to fill the seat.

Frank told a Boston radio station this week that he was backing Markey in the special election not only because of his work on climate change and gun control regulations, but because, in Frank's estimation, potential Democratic challenger Rep. Michael Capuano of Somerville is "probably not running."

In the special election, Markey would probably face former Senator Scott P. Brown, who was unseated in November by former Harvard Law School Professor Elizabeth Warren. Warren has said that she will not endorse a Democratic candidate in the special election.

Brown, who won his seat in a 2010 special election against Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley, has not yet declared his candidacy, but he did take time in a radio interview last week to take some jabs at Markey, suggesting that the representative spends too much time at his DC area home and not enough time back in his district.

Frank has asked Governor Deval L. Patrick '78 to appoint him as a temporary Senator. He hopes to serve in the interim between Kerry's expected confirmation and the special election, which would probably occur in early summer.

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