US Senator-elect Edward J. Markey officially resigned from his position as a US representative Monday in order to be sworn in to his new job Tuesday morning. His successor will be chosen by the voters of the Fifth Congressional District on Dec. 10.
Markey, a Malden Democrat who won a special election last month to fill the seat vacated by John F. Kerry, is set to be sworn in on the floor of the US Senate by Vice President Joe Biden at 10 a.m.
Governor Deval Patrick said Monday that he would be in Washington, D.C., Tuesday as the state’s new junior senator takes his oath.
State law calls for a special election to be scheduled for a date between 145 and 160 days after the seat is officially vacant. Secretary of State William F. Galvin set the primary election for Oct. 15, with the general election Dec. 10.
To get on the ballot, among other requirements, a candidate must gather 2,000 certified signatures of registered voters in the district.
Five Democrats are running in the mostly suburban district that runs from Winthrop to Woburn to Framingham to Holliston: State Representative Carl M. Sciortino of Medford, state Senators Will Brownsberger of Belmont, Katherine Clark of Melrose, Karen Spilka of Ashland, and Middlesex County Sheriff Peter J. Koutoujian of Waltham.
The district is heavily Democratic. so the winner of the Democratic primary will be favored to win the general election. The primary is expected to draw a low turnout.
Analysts expect many voters fatigued by a razzle-dazzle 2012 election and the special US Senate contest in June to sit out the congressional race.