“Congressman Markey has been a strong and effective advocate for public education and the rights of working men and women,” said Massachusetts Teachers Association President Paul Toner in a release.

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“He knows how to get things done. He is intelligent, hard-working and principled. If Ed MarkeyEdward (Ed) John MarkeySenate receives official net neutrality notice from FCC EPA chief braces for grilling from Senate Dems Trump’s former chemical safety nominee leaving EPA MORE is elected, we are confident he will fight as hard for students and public education in the U.S. Senate as he has done in the House.”

Lynch has launched a bid for the Democratic nomination for Secretary of State John KerryJohn Forbes KerryOvernight Cybersecurity: Tillerson proposes new cyber bureau at State | Senate bill would clarify cross-border data rules | Uber exec says 'no justification' for covering up breach GOP probes put new focus on State Will FISA secrecy doom democracy? MORE's (D) seat, but he enters the race an underdog.

The former union worker and advocate is relying on heavy, active union backing to help him get out the vote and shore up the deficit in funding he's likely to face against establishment-backed and deep-pocketed Markey.

By his own count, Lynch has secured the endorsements of over local 30 unions in Massachusetts. But his controversial vote against President Obama's health care law in 2010, as well as his more conservative positions on some social issues — like his position in opposition to abortion rights — remain contentious in union circles.

His failure to secure the endorsements of the MTA and the National Education Association indicate he does not have union support entirely locked up, which could become an issue for him as the race heats up and he is forced to grapple with his underdog status.