With Sen. John Kerry’s nomination to be President Obama’s next Secretary of State all but assured, Massachusetts will once again hold a special election to fill a U.S. Senate seat. US Representative Ed Markey has emerged as the early favorite to seek (and get) the Democratic Party nomination. Prominent politicians have quickly lined up to express their support, but I’m not the least bit happy about this news.
Over the past few years the Massachusetts delegation has lost significant clout with the loss of Congressional districts and after powerful politicians have left office. If Rep. Markey leaves the US House of Rep., he will be the second (following Rep. Frank who just retired) loss for our delegation. Adding to the problem is both US Senators from MA will have no seniority. While voters may not be thinking about how this will impact the state, mark my words – this will make thing difficult for a state that is accustomed to having powerful legislators in D.C. able to negotiate and work on our behalf.
Aside from this significant issue (and rest assured – it is a significant), the opening in the US Senate should in theory allow for “new blood” to enter our state’s political landscape. If MA is going to be faced with the reality that both US Senators will have zero seniority, I’d prefer to see someone come from the outside the current political machine who can bring new ideas to the table. So while many may have personal / political biases in favor of or opposing Rep. Markey, my reservations are based on reality, and I’m not pleased.