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U.S. Rep Stephen Lynch to Enter Kennedy Seat Democratic Primary

I know it's not pure White House news, but I like to keep my hand in politics too.

The Massachusetts Secretary of State's office tells Fox a representative for five-term Rep. Stephen Lynch obtained nomination papers today for the congressman to run for Edward Kennedy's U.S. Senate seat.

Kennedy died of brain cancer Aug. 25 at the age of 77.

Lynch is the second Democrat to begin the process of campaigning for Kennedy's seat. Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley entered the race officially on Thursday. She pulled her nomination papers on Tuesday. Coakley is seeking to become the first woman elected to the U.S. Senate from Massachusetts.

Brian McNiff, spokesman for Secretary of the Commonwealth Bill Galvin, said Lynch is now in possession of nomination or candidacy papers, the crucial first step toward approving his candidacy. Lynch and his team must collect valid signatures from 10,000 registered voters in Masschusetts who are either registered as Democrats or "unenrolled," meaning no party affiliation. Registered Republicans cannot participate in the nomination process for a Democrat and vice-versa.

Lynch and Coakley have until Oct. 20 to submit their 10,000 valid signatures for local inspection and until Nov. 3 to deliver them to the Secretary of the Commonwealth's office.

The primary is Dec. 8, the special election will be held Jan. 19.

The candidacy papers must include the name of the registered voter, their party affiliation and their voting district or ward.

No Republicans have requested candidacy papers in the race to fill Kennedy's seat. Former Red Sox starting pitcher Curt Schilling has said he is looking at a potential run.

Coakley and Lynch are the only Democrats. It is unclear if former six-term Rep. Joseph Kennedy, eldest son of Robert Kennedy and founder of the low-income energy charity Citizens Energy Corp., will seek his his uncle's seat.

Two sources tell Fox that former Rep. Marty Meehan, currently president of the University of Massachusetts at Lowell, will not seek Kennedy's seat.