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State Sen. Downing Refrains From Senate Bid, Citing Scarce Funding

State Sen. Ben Downing, of Pittsfield, won't run in a special election to succeed Sen. John Kerry, if Kerry is confirmed as U.S. secretary of state.

Downing told WBUR in a phone interview that it's hard to raise money after Democrats spent so much to elect U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren.

"Coming off of an incredibly expensive Senate election, there is certainly fatigue among campaign donors," Downing said.

Meanwhile, Rabbi Jonah Pesner, a leader in the push for universal health care in Massachusetts, is considering a run, and said he's not worried about raising money.

"I look forward to the opportunity to continue, as I have for most of my career, to invite people to join with me, not only with their time and their talent and their energy and their vision, but also with their financial resources," Pesner said in an interview at his Newton home.

Also Friday, Gov. Deval Patrick fielded questions about whom he will appoint as an interim senator once Kerry resigns.

At the State House, Patrick laughed when told former U.S. Rep. Barney Frank told the National Journal that Patrick "would have to be pretty petty" not to pick him as the interim senator simply because Frank told Patrick he was interested in the seat.

This program aired on January 11, 2013. The audio for this program is not available.

Fred Thys Twitter Reporter
Fred Thys reports on politics and higher education for WBUR.

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