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Mohawk Valley

Downing won't run for Kerry's Senate seat

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PITTSFIELD, Mass. -- Pittsfield Democrat Ben Downing will not be vying for the empty U.S. Senate seat if John Kerry is confirmed as President Obama's new secretary of state.

The current state representative had considered running but released a statement saying he will not after all. Downing said while discussing the option with friends, family and colleagues, he received overwhelming positive support.

Part of his statement reads, "After considering every aspect of a possible campaign, I have determined that I will not be a candidate for the U.S. Senate in the upcoming special election. I am blessed with a wonderful wife, great family & friends and an incredible job, representing the community that has given me every opportunity in life. I am excited to continue representing the people of Western Massachusetts in the State Senate..."

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