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Keller @ Large: Markey, Lynch, Brown Make Exciting Senate Race

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Ed Markey, Stephen Lynch, and Scott Brown (Photos courtesy: Paul Morigi/Getty Images, Stephen Lynch, MOLLY RILEY/AFP/Getty Images)

Ed Markey, Stephen Lynch, and Scott Brown (Photos courtesy: Paul Morigi/Getty Images, Stephen Lynch, MOLLY RILEY/AFP/Getty Images)

420x316-grad-keller2 Jon Keller
Veteran Boston political commentator Jon Keller is heard every weekday...
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BOSTON (CBS) – With John Kerry’s confirmation as Secretary of State Tuesday, the race to succeed him in the Senate is definitely on, with Congressman Stephen Lynch set to jump into the Democratic primary against Rep. Ed Markey on Thursday, and allies of former Sen. Scott Brown signalling that he’s poised to announce next week.

Listen to Jon’s commentary:

So with the primaries only three months away, let’s get the conversation going about what sort of choices this race will offer.

When I talked with him about a possible run against Markey earlier this month, Lynch cited his blue collar background as a Southie kid from the projects and an ironworker who rose to president of the ironworker’s union, and concluded that: “I probably wouldn’t fit in in the Senate.”

But that, added Lynch, “is a good thing,” because the Senate could use some pragmatic blue-collar perspective.

This is very smart spin, because it both highlights Lynch’s impressive bio and implicitly compares it favorably to Markey’s background as a career politician and DC insider.

But Markey won’t be so easy to diminish.

His long tenure in Washington has included tenacious advocacy for the environment, including key support for wind power development, a background that should play well among some Democratic primary voters. And if Markey’s leading role in getting Daylight Savings Time to start earlier and end later can’t win him votes among winter-weary New Englanders, what can?

The Markey-Lynch battle has the makings of a classic. And likely waiting for the winner is Brown, with a pretty impressive rags to riches story of his own.

With tax hikes and the fallout from them sure to dominate the headlines over the next few months, could the appeal of an anti-tax conservative like Brown be enhanced?

Gentlemen, start your engines.

It’s times like these that remind me of why I wanted to be a political reporter in the first place.

You can listen to Keller At Large on WBZ News Radio every weekday at 7:55 a.m. and 12:25 p.m. You can also watch Jon on WBZ-TV News.

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