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Martha Coakley will vie for Ted Kennedy's senate seat

Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley has officially become the first – and thus far the only – politician to make a bid for Ted Kennedy's vacant seat in the US Senate.

Kennedy, who died last Tuesday, had urged lawmakers to allow the governor to appoint a temporary replacement for his seat until a special election could be held. On Sept. 9, a Massachusetts legislative committee will rule on that request.

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In the time being, speculation has swirled around the possible candidates. On the short list: Michael Capuano, a congressman from Somerville, Mass.; Stephen Lynch, a congressman from South Boston; Congressman Ed Markey; and Joseph P. Kennedy II, the former US representative.

As Chris Cillizza of the Washington Post writes, "If [Kennedy] runs, it's likely that Markey, Capuano, and others take a pass. If he decides not to get in, this race turns into a free for all."

For now, Coakley has the spotlight. According to the Boston Globe, Coakley today picked up the nomination papers necessary for a Senate run. The attorney general will now need to obtain 10,000 certified voter signatures to qualify for the Dec. 8 Democratic primary.

"Coakley has been quietly been putting together her Senate campaign over the past year, but has yet to announce officially. She has told associates she will run for the seat even if a Kennedy family member enters the race," Frank Phillips and Matt Viser of the Globe write.

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