In a letter emailed to her supporters on Friday afternoon, state Sen. Katherine Clark (D-Melrose) announced that she will be running for Congress.
U.S. Representative Ed Markey (D-Malden), who represents Stoneham in the House, is currently running for the U.S. Senate seat vacated by newly appointed Secretary of State John Kerry.
If Markey wins that Senate seat, it would leave open the Fifth Congressional District seat in the House, which Clark would run for. If he loses his bid, he would retain his current House seat.
Two other Massachusetts legislators have also announced their intentions to run for Markey's seat, if he wins the Senate seat: state Rep. Carl Sciortino (D-Medford) and state Sen. Will Brownsberger (D-Belmont).
Stoneham's current state senator, Clark said in her letter on Friday that she is "working hard to help" Markey win the special Senate race. Markey faces fellow Democratic Congressman Stephen Lynch in an April primary; Republicans who have declared their candidacy include twice-former congressional candidate Sean Bielat, state Rep. Dan Winslow of Norfolk and former Navy Seal Gabriel Gomez.
"I believe Ed Markey will be successful, and that a special election for the congressional seat will quickly follow," Clark wrote. "So I have made an exciting decision I want to share with you. I am running for Congress. I want to put my experience to work for the people of the Fifth Congressional District. Throughout my career, I have stood up for the families of Massachusetts. I will bring that leadership to Congress."
In the letter, Clark said that she has dedicated her career to being a voice for families and communities and "as a mom, attorney and state senator, I know how critical it is to continue to fight for early education, local job creation, public safety, our seniors and veterans, and a government that is transparent and accountable.
"The climate in Washington is divisive right now, but that is exactly why I want to represent our values in Congress," Clark continued in the letter. "I have a proven track record of bringing people together to find common sense solutions that create opportunity and move us forward."