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(NECN: Mike Cronin) – It’s official. Massachusetts Congressman Stephen Lynch is joining the race to replace Senator John Kerry.
Lynch launched his campaign Thursday. He held several events, including one in Worcester.
Congressman Lynch greeted supporters at the Parkway Diner in Worcester. The democrat announced Thursday he's running in the state's special senate election.
“One of the big problems is there's this gap between the U.S. Senate and what's going on here on Shrewsbury Street in Worcester and what's happening in communities like this all over the state,” he said.
The south Boston democrat has served in Congress for the last 12 years. He insists he doesn't always vote along party lines.
“You ask Nancy Pelosi. I don't work for Nancy Pelosi. We've had differences, we've had agreements and I won't work for Harry Reid either when I go to the U.S. Senate.”
Lynch joins fellow democrat Ed Markey in the race to fill John Kerry’s Senate seat. Markey already has support from within the Democratic Party, but Lynch says he can relate to voters. Prior to his political career, Lynch grew up in public housing projects and was an iron worker for 18 years.
“I know what it's like to stand in an unemployment line. I think there are a lot of families in Worcester that are struggling to find work and so I have that body of experience and I can relate to what they're going through.”
Worcester state Representative John Binienda has known Lynch since he entered the legislature in the 90s. He says Lynch is a working man.
“His voting record and my voting record in the House and Senate while he was here is almost identical. Mr. Markey has been there 38 years and I've never met Mr. Markey,” said Binienda.
Former senator Republican Scott Brown has not officially said he'll run. If he does, a poll released by public policy polling gives Brown a 3-point lead over Markey. Lynch admits, for him, the race will be an uphill battle.
“I realize that if the election were held today, I'm behind, but thank goodness it's not being held.”