Rep. Lynch preparing for Massachusetts special election

Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-Mass.) said he is making preparations to run this spring in the likely Massachusetts special election to replace Sen. John Kerry (D).

"I know that Mr. Kerry's been nominated, but I'm not sure what the legislative schedule will be on confirmation, or how long that might take. So we're using that time to look very hard at it and put some things in place so that, if I did decide to make the run, we could prosecute a good campaign," Lynch told The Hill.

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Lynch had previously told a number of outlets he was giving "serious" consideration to a run for Kerry's seat should the senator be confirmed as secretary of State, as is expected. 

The Boston Herald reported on Thursday that Lynch is likely to hire a consultant to run his bid in the coming days.

But Lynch told The Hill that so far, he's just "talking to people," declining to elaborate on whom specifically he had been in touch with.

"We're doing all the things normally you would do. We're in campaign mode anyway, with a campaign every two years. [So] we're really just listening, just listening to people, and people are not shy about letting you know what they feel," he said.

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Lynch added that he would like to wait until Kerry is confirmed to make a decision, but with the confirmation timeline unclear, he could jump in the race earlier.

"If it drags on too long, and I feel like I should get in, then I'll probably do that. But ideally [I] would like to wait for the confirmation process to be completed," he said.

Thus far, only Rep. Edward Markey (D) has made his bid for the seat official, though Democratic state Sen. Benjamin Downing has said he is considering running, and Rep. Mike Capuano (D) has previously expressed interest.

On the Republican side, former Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) is the likeliest candidate, though he has yet to announce an official bid.

Lynch called Brown a "tough campaigner."

"He was a state senator in my district ... and I've seen him in action. He is a very hard campaigner," he said.

Shortly after announcing his candidacy, Markey received the backing of prominent national and Massachusetts Democrats, including Victoria Kennedy, the widow of former Sen. Ted Kennedy (D), Kerry himself and Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Chairman Michael Bennet (D-Colo.). Their rush to support Markey was seen as an effort to clear the Democratic field and prevent a potentially bruising primary race.

But when asked whether the outpouring of support for Markey had any effect on his decision, Lynch said: "Zero." He said it hadn't dissuaded him at all.