Massachusetts state sen. 'would consider' run for Senate if Kerry leaves

Massachusetts state Sen. Benjamin Downing (D) said Thursday that he "would consider" a run for U.S. Senate if Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) gives up his seat for a Cabinet position.

"I haven't made any decisions one way or another, largely because there hasn't been any opening," the western Massachusetts Democrat told the Berkshire Eagle. "But if there was, I would consider it."

There have been reports that Kerry is being considered for secretary of State or Defense. If so, many have speculated Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.), who just lost his reelection race, would run for the GOP.

Democrats have a surprisingly thin bench in the heavily Democratic state; Brown won his first race partly because of a weak Democratic field, and until Sen.-elect Elizabeth Warren (D) stepped up, Democrats were worried that they had once again drawn a less-than-stellar field of candidates against him.