US Representative Ed Markey (D-MA), the longest serving member of the Massachusetts congressional delegation, and one of the most powerful members of the US House, has announced his intention to run for the US Senate seat being vacated by soon-to-be Secretary of State John Kerry:

“With Senator Kerry’s departure, Massachusetts voters will decide once again whether we want a Senator who will fight for all our families or one who supports a Republican agenda that benefits only the powerful and well-connected,” Markey said. “I refuse to allow the Tea Party-dominated Republican Party to lead us off the fiscal cliff and into recession. I won’t allow the [National Rifle Association] to obstruct an assault weapons ban yet again. I will not sit back and allow oil and coal industry lobbyists to thwart our clean energy future or extremists to restrict women’s rights and health care.”

Yes, even being a junior member of a Democratic controlled Senate is probably preferable to being in the minority leadership of a Republican controlled House, but for a congressman who was first elected to the House in 1976, this couldn't have been an easy decision. And it may well be the Democrats' best shot at preventing recently defeated Republican Senator Scott Brown from returning to office. So this is pretty good news for Dems.

Kudos to Markey for being a team player, and doing what's best for the Democratic Party and the people of Massachusetts, instead of just playing it safe with his own career.