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Khazei Begins Senate Campaign

By Paul Tuthill


Springfield, MA – Capturing the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Republican Scott Brown is seen by many Democratic strategists as a key to the party holding its majority in the Senate after the 2012 elections. But after his upset special election victory in 2010, Brown seems well positioned to win re-election to a full six year term. WAMC"s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill reports..

Alan Khazei has been traveling across Massachusetts..from Boston to Lowell to Worcester to Springfield to find..in his words..what works. In the opening days of Khazei's bid for the Democratic nomination for US Senate in Massachusetts he visited places he says demonstrate what it takes to rev up the economy and create jobs
Khazei, who is the co-founder of the youth volunteer service program, CityYear, is making his second bid for the U.S. Senate. He received 13 percent of the vote to finish third in the four person Democratic primary that preceded the January 2010 special election won by Brown. Khazei, whose campaign committee is still paying off debt from that un-successful effort, says his first try to elected office was a great learning experience
Khazei, who consider the late Edward Kennedy a mentor, says Brown has failed to lead on any issues, and partisanship in Washington has become worse. Khazei believes when people exam Brown's record his popularity in the polls will fade and he rejects that contention it will take a high profile Democrat to beat Brown..
Khazei joins Bob Massie, a former nominee for Lt Gov and Marisa DeFranco, an immigration lawyer as the only declared Democatic senate candidates.
Tim Vercellotti, a political science professor at Western New England College, says Democrats would be thrilled if a marquee name would step up to challenge Brown
In addition to high approval ratings in the polls right now, Brown also has raised an impressive sum of campaign cash, about 8 million dollars .
Democratic Congressman Richard Neal of Springfield, during an interview on WCVB TV's " On The Record" program this week, said Brown will be hard to beat.
Neal said Democrats need to avoid an expensive and divisive primary in the senate race.
Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick has said repeatedly that he is not going to run for the senate seat, and on Boston radio program Thursday, Patrick said his answer would be no, even, if asked to run by his friend , President Obama.