“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 MarkeyHillicon Valley: Lawmakers target Chinese tech giants | Dems move to save top cyber post | Trump gets a new CIA chief | Ryan delays election security briefing | Twitter CEO meets lawmakers Twitter CEO meets with lawmakers to talk net neutrality, privacy Senate votes to save net neutrality rules 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 KerryJohn Kerry to NYU Abu Dhabi: We can't address world problems by 'going it alone' Juan Williams: Trump's dangerous lies on Iran Pompeo: US tried, failed to achieve side deal with European allies 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.