President Obama's pick of Senator John Kerry as his Secretary of State leaves a Senate seat open in Massachusetts. In the Berkshires, one politician is already considering a run for the seat. YNN's Madeleine Rivera has more.
PITTSFIELD, Mass. – “I'm seriously considering it and taking steps to prepare myself to run,” said Senator Ben Downing.
State Senator Ben Downing's name is one of the few that's popped up as a potential candidate for the now open Senate seat as the president picks Senator John Kerry as his Secretary of State.
Senator Downing represents 48 communities in Berkshire, Hamphsire, and Franklin Counties - an experience he says would benefit him.
“I've had to be able to address urban issues and able to work on more rural issues. This is a district that challenges you in that regard. It would set me up well to understand the challenges of the other 300 plus communities,” said Sen. Downing.
As state Senator, Downing's been supportive of issues like accessible public higher education, tackling climate change, and reducing health care costs. But, he's cautious about defining a platform so early.
“I think a lot of the flesh of the campaign isn't there yet. I'll have to determine my platform is if I'm going to be in the race,” said Sen. Downing.
A race that might not be so easy for a politician from Western Massachusetts.
“The how is certainly not ideal. Everyone will tell you if you're from Western Mass, it is an uphill battle to be selected statewide to any office,” said Sen. Downing.
While there has been no formal announcement from Downing, the politician who started his campaign for state Senate at the age 24 says his youth might give him an advantage in a possible race.
“What you hear and what you've seen in the past few elections is that the successful candidates are not the people who are next in line. They are candidates who are fresh-faced, who will bring new energy, new ideas to the race,” said Sen. Downing.
A race that in the coming weeks will begin to take shape.