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Mass. Senate Race Hits the Airwaves

The race to replace the late Massachusetts Sen. Ted Kennedy was kicked up a notch on Thursday with the first television ad and claims from multiple Democratic candidates they will honor Kennedy's legacy.

Democratic Rep. Michael Capuano launched a statewide television ad on Thursday, though he is formally announcing his candidacy today. The statewide ad will run for the next several weeks and cost around $300,000 to $400,000, the Boston Globe reports.

"Only one candidate stood with Ted Kennedy against Bush's Iraq war and mirrors his progressive record," the ad says. Capuano is described as against the death penalty, for a strong public health care option, for "equal marriage," pro choice and in favor of middle class tax cuts.

Meanwhile, venture capitalist Stephen Pagliuca officially launched his candidacy yesterday, along with a Web site featuring a 30-second in which he says, "We need a new way of doing business in Washington." According to the Globe, Pagliuca bought $500,000 worth of statewide television air time for advertisments.

When he announced his campaign, Pagliuca said he wants to fulfill Kennedy's vision, the Globe reports.

"I pledge to honor him with a campaign that focuses on making it possible for more and more of our fellow citizens to realize the American dream," he reportedly said.

Pagliuca and Capuano will also face state Attorney General Martha Coakley in the Democratic primary, which will be held on Dec. 8. The general election will be on Jan. 19, 2010. A poll conducted Sept. 12 through Sept. 15 showed Coakley with a strong lead over Capuano and other candidates, the Hill newspaper reports.

Meanwhile, the Massachusetts state legislature moved a step closer on Thursday to allowing the governor to appoint an interim successor for Kennedy until a replacement is chosen in the special election. Former Democratic presidential nominee Michael Dukakis is reportedly a contender for the temporary position.

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