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Martha Coakley, Massachusetts attorney general, seeks Kennedy's Senate seat

The Democrat plans to run in a special election. State lawmakers will hold a hearing next week on appointing an interim replacement.

September 04, 2009|Associated Press

BOSTON — Massachusetts Atty. Gen. Martha Coakley announced Thursday that she would run as a Democratic candidate in the special election to succeed the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy.

Coakley said the state had had a "crisis of confidence" since Kennedy's death last week of brain cancer, and that she believed she could continue to be "an effective voice for the people of Massachusetts."

"We've depended on him here in the commonwealth and in Washington, and we will miss his strength and leadership and his sense of humor. As some have noted, no one can fill his shoes, but we must strive to follow in his footsteps," she told supporters at a downtown Boston hotel.

Coakley sidestepped a question about whether she favored changing state law to allow the governor to appoint an interim senator, as Kennedy had requested in a letter before his death. Legislators have planned a hearing on the matter for next week.

The 56-year-old Coakley becomes the most prominent candidate to officially declare candidacy for the seat.

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