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Democrats begin lining up to run for Markey’s congressional seat

The election hasn’t even been scheduled and may never happen.

But in an indication of the suddenly shifting terrain of Massachusetts politics, Democratic candidates are lining up to run for Edward J. Markey’s House seat, if the veteran Malden represenative wins the special election for US Senate.

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The early rush could be for naught: If Markey loses his Senate race, he will return to the House seat he has held for more than 36 years.

But the dash is on among those who have their eyes on a rare shot at a congressional seat in Massachusetts.

State Representative Carl Sciortino of Somerville said last week that he has launched a campaign for Markey’s seat. Markey represents the Fifth Congressional District.

First elected to the state House in 2004, Sciortino has been a leading supporter of gay rights and coauthored a transgender rights bill that was signed into law last year.

State Senator Katherine Clark of Melrose is planning to launch her own campaign for Markey’s seat Friday, according to people who have spoken to her. First elected to the Legislature in 2008, Clark is a former school committee member and prosecutor.

State Senator William Brownsberger of Belmont is campaigning for the seat, as well. A former prosecutor and defense lawyer, he said he launched his federal campaign committee last week.

Other Democrats who have been mentioned as possible candidates include state Senator Karen Spilka of Ashland; Peter Koutoujian, the Middlesex sheriff; and state Representative David Linsky of Natick.

A long list of Democrats are also said to be looking at US Representative Stephen F. Lynch’s Eighth District seat, though none have officially declared. Lynch, of South Boston, is challenging Markey for the Democratic Senate nomination. The primary is April 30.

The potential candidates for his seat include state Representative Martin Walsh of Dorchester, Councilor Rob Consalvo of Hyde Park, former city councilor Michael ­Flaherty of South Boston, state Senator John Keenan of ­Quincy, Mayors Thomas Koch of Quincy, Joseph Sullivan of Braintree, and Susan Kay of Weymouth, as well as former mayor Jack Yunits of Brockton.

Michael Levenson can be reached at mlevenson@
globe.com
. Follow him on
Twitter @mlevenson.
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