Rep. Ed Markey stops in Springfield to announce campaign launch - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Rep. Ed Markey stops in Springfield to announce campaign launch

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SPRINGFIELD, MA (WSHM) -

This week, John Kerry was officially sworn in as our country's new secretary of state, which leaves his Senate seat up for grabs.

The likely front-runner in the race for that seat, Congressman Ed Markey, officially kicked off his campaign Saturday.

There were plenty of smiles and handshakes to go around the Student Prince, as Markey ended a whirlwind first day on the campaign trail.

"Western Mass is going to be key to this election," said Markey. "I am going to be out here over and over again to win support of the voters in Western Mass."

Democrats throughout the state will likely have a choice to make between Markey and Congressman Stephen Lynch. Lynch launched his campaign in Springfield this past Thursday. Markey told CBS 3 that he will let his 30-plus year record in Congress speak for itself.

"I am also going to lay out a vision for the future of our country, on gun control, on the protection of women's rights, on the environment," Markey stated.

When he addressed his supporters Saturday afternoon, Markey said he will stand behind the laws President Barack Obama has passed and he is ready for a battle on gun control.

"The NRA used to stand for the National Rifle Association," said Markey. "It now stands for 'not relevant anymore'. We have to make sure that we put strong gun laws on the books."

Earlier this week, state officials announced the special election to fill Kerry's seat will take place in late June.

The primaries for that election will take place April 30.

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