Senator John F. Kerry has been nominated to be the next US secretary of state. There are many potential candidates who could run for his Senate seat.
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Governor Deval Patrick is required to appoint an interim senator until a special election is held to fill the post between 145 and 160 days after the vacancy.
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A Senate vacancy would probably create a comeback scenario for Senator Scott Brown, the Republican who lost the seat to Democrat Elizabeth Warren in last week’s election.
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US Representative Edward J. Markey of Malden has officially thrown his hat in the ring for the Senate seat.
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Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley has not ruled out a run, but insiders said she would not be a Democratic favorite after her poor performance in losing to Brown in the 2010 special election.
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US Representative Michael E. Capuano of Somerville, who ran second to Martha Coakley in the 2009 Senate primary, has expressed interest in running.
US Representative Stephen F. Lynch of South Boston has also expressed interest.
US Attorney Carmen Ortiz, who has gained the attention of the political world by prosecuting former speaker Salvatore F. DiMasi, has also been mentioned as a potential candidate, despite her lack of electoral experience.
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Alan Khazei, who twice ran unsuccessfully for Senate, said he "wouldn’t rule anything out."
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On the Republican side, former governor William F. Weld could try to win the seat, but those close to Weld say he would defer to Brown.
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Richard Tisei, who narrowly lost a challenge to US Representative John F. Tierney, could also run.
Kerry Healey, former lieutenant governor, could be another Republican candidate.