After weeks of speculation, Elizabeth Warren officially announced her candidacy for the Massachusetts Senate on Wednesday, citing a desire to help middle class families who "have been chipped at, hacked at, squeezed and hammered for a generation now."
Warren, a professor at Harvard Law School and former Obama administration official, announced her entrance to the race via video on her campaign website. She will run against incumbent Scott Brown, a Republican who won the seat in a 2010 special election to replace the late Sen. Ted Kennedy.
In the video, Warren announces: "I'm going to do this. I'm going to run for the United States Senate."
"The reason is straightforward," she continues. "Middle-class families have been chipped at, hacked at, squeezed and hammered for a generation now and I don't think Washington gets it. Washington is rigged for big corporations that hire armies of lobbyists. A big company like GE pays nothing in taxes and we're asking college students to take on even more debt to get an education; we're telling seniors they may have to learn to live on less - it isn't right, and it's the reason I'm running for the United States Senate."
Warren, who was tapped by President Obama last year to set up the new consumer protection agency as part of the financial reform bill, goes on to tout her history as a consumer advocate - and warns voters that corporate interests "are going to line up against this campaign."
"I grew up on the ragged edge of the middle class and I know it's hard out there," she says. "I've fought all my life for working families and I've stood up to some pretty powerful interests. Those interests are going to line up against this campaign - and that's why I need you."
She adds: "We have a chance to help rebuild America's middle class. We have a chance to put Washington on the side of families. We can do this together."
Warren was widely favored by Democrats to become director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the group she formed under Mr. Obama's administration. Congressional Republicans, however, indicated they would opposed the move, and Obama nominated former Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray. Warren returned to Massachusetts this summer, where she has been heavily courted by the Democratic establishment in the state to jump into the race.
Warren has never run for elected political office, but many Democrats believe that her recent high-profile position in Washington - as well as her long history of standing up to Wall Street - could give her the necessary stature to run a successful campaign for the seat formerly occupied by Kennedy.