Ben Affleck, Ted Kennedy Jr. Withdraw From Massachusetts Senate Race

The list of potential candidates for likely secretary of state appointee John Kerry’s Massachusetts senate seat has lost two of its most popular names: Ben Affleck and Ted Kennedy Jr. Affleck made an appearance in front the House Armed Services Committee last week, and met with Kerry while he was in Washington, prompting speculation about his political motivations. The Argo actor and director spoke to the committee on his experiences doing charity work in the eastern Congo, and it seems that is as far as his political aspirations go.

“I love Massachusetts and our political process, but I am not running for office,” Affleck posted on his Facebook page Monday night. “Right now it’s a privilege to spend my time working with Eastern Congo Initiative (ECI), supporting our veterans, drawing attention to the great many who go hungry in the U.S. everyday and using film making to entertain and foster discussion about issues like our relationship to Iran.”

“We are about to get a great Secretary of State and there are some phenomenal candidates in Massachusetts for his Senate seat. I look forward to an amazing campaign,” he added.

That campaign will not include Ted Kennedy Jr., the son of the late Edward Kennedy, who served as a Massachusetts senator for more than 45 years. Ted Jr., 51, is the co-founder and president of the Marwood Group, a financial-services firm.

“Although I have a strong desire to serve in public office, I consider Connecticut to be my home, and hope to have the honor to serve at another point in my future,” a statement from Kennedy Jr. read, according to the Associated Press.

Massachusetts Democrats still have a large number of potential senate candidates, including House reps Ed Markey, Michael Capuano, and Stephen Lynch. Should Kerry be appointed, Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick is required to name an interim replacement for the new secretary of state, and assign a date for a special election between 145 and 160 days.

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