Edward Kennedy Jr., a son of the late U.S. Sen. Edward Kennedy, announced Monday he has decided not to run for the Massachusetts Senate seat that will become vacant if U.S. Sen. John Kerry is confirmed as Secretary of State.
The 51-year-old health care lawyer, who lives in Connecticut and owns a home in Massachusetts, issued a statement saying he's "extremely grateful for all of the offers of support" he has received from people over the past several days urging him to run, but he plans to remain in Branford.
"Although I have a strong desire to serve in public office, I consider Connecticut to be my home, and I hope to have the honor to serve at another point in my future," he said.
Patrick Kennedy, the former congressman who represented Rhode Island, told The Associated Press on Saturday that his brother was considering running in the special election for Kerry's seat, given the numerous encouraging calls he has received from their late father's friends and former colleagues, including former Connecticut Gov. Lowell P. Weicker Jr.
Patrick Kennedy said the callers told his brother that he "has what it takes to keep that seat in Democratic hands" because of the Kennedy name and "the legacy of my family," but also "because of what they know about my brother."
Edward Kennedy Jr. is an advocate for people for disabilities and co-founder of the New York-based Marwood Group, a health care-focused financial services company. While he lives with his family in Connecticut, he also owns the Hyannis, Mass., home that once belonged to the late President John F. Kennedy, according to Patrick Kennedy.
If confirmed by the Senate as expected, Kerry would have to resign the seat he has held for nearly three decades, requiring a special election - the third Senate contest since 2010. The big question is whether Republican Sen. Scott Brown would run for the seat after losing last month to Democrat Elizabeth Warren. Brown is considered to still be a formidable candidate.
Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick must name an interim appointee to fill Kerry's seat and must set a day for the special election between 145 days and 160 days after Kerry's resignation.
Several Democratic members of the Massachusetts congressional delegation have said they would seriously consider running, including Reps. Michael Capuano, Edward Markey, Stephen Lynch and Niki Tsongas.
This article was originally published on December 24, 2012.
This program aired on December 24, 2012. The audio for this program is not available.