Consumer advocate and Democrat Elizabeth Warren will enter the Massachusetts Senate primary for a shot at challenging incumbent Republican Scott Brown for his seat.
Warren will formally declare she's running on Wednesday, Kyle Sullivan, a Warren spokesman, said. She plans to greet commuters in Boston and make other stops during the day: New Bedford, Framingham, Worcester and Springfield.
"The pressures on middle-class families are worse than ever, but it is the big corporations that get their way in Washington," Warren said in a statement released to The Associated Press Tuesday. "I want to change that. I will work my heart out to earn the trust of the people of Massachusetts."
Democrats have been seeking a major challenger for the seat long held by the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy.
A WBUR poll, released last week, had Warren as the closest potential challenger to Brown, with the Democrat garnering 35 percent of 500 likely voters, compared to the incumbent's 44 percent.
Forty-four percent of the poll's respondents had never heard of Warren, compared to 5 percent of respondents who had never heard of Brown.
Warren, 62, is a Harvard Law professor tapped by President Obama last year to set up a new consumer protection agency, but congressional Republicans opposed her becoming the director.
Supporters say her image as a crusader against well-heeled Wall Street interests and her national profile will give her candidacy muscle, though she's never run for political office.
Warren joins a crowded primary field but was heavily courted to join the race. Other Democrats already announced include Setti Warren (no relation to Elizabeth), the first-term Newton mayor and the state's first popularly elected black mayor; City Year youth program co-founder Alan Khazei; immigration attorney Marisa DeFranco; state Rep. Tom Conroy; engineer Herb Robinson; and Robert Massie, who unsuccessfully ran for lieutenant governor.
With reporting by The Associated Press and the WBUR Newsroom
This program aired on September 13, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.