And they’re off … or at least, she’s off: On Thursday, Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley became the first contender for Ted Kennedy’s Senate seat to officially announce her candidacy, which she’s reportedly been considering for the past year, but she’ll face some fierce competition for the vaunted position in coming months. –KA

Metrodesk at The Boston Globe:

Coakley now seeks to fill the Senate seat held for 47 years by John F. Kennedy’s younger brother in what promises to be a fierce five-month-long race. Her decision to enter the race did not come as a surprise.

The attorney general has been quietly putting together her probable Senate campaign over the past year. A Coakley representative picked up the nomination documents from the secretary of state’s office Tuesday morning.

Other Democrats seriously considering running are US Representatives Michael E. Capuano, Stephen F. Lynch, and Edward J. Markey; and possibly former US representative Joseph P. Kennedy II.

Potential Republican rivals include former lieutenant governor Kerry Healey; state Senator Scott P. Brown of Wrentham; former US attorney Michael J. Sullivan; and former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling.

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