Ben Affleck discussing the Congo during an appearance before Congress (AP)
Those hoping to see Hollywood actor and director Ben Affleck replace Secretary of State nominee John Kerry in the U.S. Senate will not be getting their Christmas wish. The Argo director and Daredevil actor posted a message on his official Facebook page Monday announcing that he will not be running for office.
"I love Massachusetts and our political process, but I am not running for office. 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 filmmaking 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.
Happy Holidays to All.
After President Obama announced late last week that he will be replacing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton with the Senior Massachusetts Senator from Massachusetts, speculation began immediately for who will run in a special election early next session to finish Kerry's term. Despite having a long history of Democrat representation in Washington and a deep bench of high profile progressive politicians, the Bay State elected Republican Scott Brown in a January 2010 special election to replace the late Ted Kennedy. After lossing a close reelection against Democrat Elizabeth Warren last month, political observers have speculated that Brown has strong potential to still win his way back into the Senate next session if he were to run for Kerry's old seat. After the 2008 success of now Senator Al Franken in Minnesota, and heavy speculation regarding Kentuckian Ashley Judd running for Senate in 2014, rumors spread that Democrats were once again looking to Hollywood for representation in Washington with outspoken Democratic supporter and Bay State native Ben Affleck.
With Affleck now taking himself out of the running, potential Democratic candidates mentioned interested in replacing Kerry include 2010 Brown challenger Martha Coakley, and members of the state's Congressional delegation such as Reps. Mike Capuano, Nikki Tsongas, and Stephen Lynch.