John Kerry: Nomination as Defense Secretary Could Make a Scott Brown Massachusetts Senator Again


U.S. Representative Michael Capuano stated on Tuesday that he would seriously consider running in a special election for the U.S. Senate should Senator John Kerry be appointed to a cabinet position. There has been speculation that Sen. Kerry may be named Secretary of State or Secretary of Defense, depending on the administration's outstanding decision regarding second term cabinet appointments.

Seeing as Kerry's likely contender would be Scott Brown of Massachusetts, this special election would be highly contested. Brown would essentially be running as an incumbent despite losing his senate seat to Democrat Elizabeth Warren just a few weeks ago. Capuano sought the Senate seat left vacant by the death of Senator Edward Kennedy in 2009. He lost in the primary to Martha Coakley, Attorney General of Massachusetts, securing only 28% of the vote compared to Coakley’s 47%. Capuano is a popular representative who easily won re-election to an eighth term in the House on November 6th.

If Senator Kerry does in fact accept a cabinet position in the new administration, it will likely set off a compelling chain of events. Massachusetts politics will once again be thrown into tumult. Democrats are faced with a tough decision, as the implications of a Kerry appointment are more than clear to party leadership.

Capuano represents the 8th congressional district, which encompasses the northern three-fourths of Boston as well as Somerville and Cambridge, and is the seat once held by John F. Kennedy and Tip O'Neill. Capuano seems to be in an ideal position to ride the momentum in favor of Democrats following the November 6th election. If Sen. Kerry accepts a cabinet position, this race has the potential to be one of the most expensive special elections to date regardless of the candidates.