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Another Democrat takes step toward Third District race

State Senator Barbara L’Italien (third from left) called herself “off and running” for the state’s Third District seat.

Katherine Taylor for The Boston Globe/File

State Senator Barbara L’Italien (third from left) called herself “off and running” for the state’s Third District seat.

State Senator Barbara L’Italien, an Andover Democrat, said Wednesday she was opening a congressional campaign exploratory committee, calling herself “off and running” for the state’s Third District seat.

The veteran lawmaker becomes the third potential candidate to announce such a committee, which permits fund-raising for preliminary campaign activities. L’Italien carved out a focus on human services policy during her time in the Legislature but said she thought the “sleeper” component of her candidacy was her economic development work.

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“I believe I’m the elected official that has a background, that has a proven ability to get things done,” L’Italien said in a phone interview. “This is about who has been an elected official, who has a track record.”

Her state Senate district covers Lawrence, Andover, Dracut, and Tewksbury. A former social worker, L’Italien served in the House from 2003 to 2011 but lost a reelection bid in 2010. She then worked for then-treasurer Steve Grossman before winning election to the state Senate in 2014.

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The field to succeed US Representative Niki Tsongas, who announced in August she would not seek reelection, is far from set.

Former Boston City Hall chief of staff Dan Koh, a Democrat, and Rick Green, a Republican and Pepperell businessman, have both established federal exploratory committees. State senator Eileen Donoghue, 2014 lieutenant governor nominee Steve Kerrigan, and business consultant Lori Loureiro Trahan — all Democrats — are considering bids.

Jim O’Sullivan can be reached at jim.osullivan@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter at @JOSreports.
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