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Ben Affleck Won’t Be Running for Senate

Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic(NEW YORK) -- Those hoping the United States Senate may get a little less gray and a bit more celebrity-studded won’t be getting their Christmas miracle today.

Despite speculation, Ben Affleck announced late Monday he would not go after John Kerry’s Senate seat in his native Massachusetts if the senator is confirmed as secretary of state.

The actor, who has been an increasingly popular presence in the political world recently, wrote on his Facebook page: “I love Massachusetts and our political process, but I am not running for office.”

Chatter around a possible run went into overdrive Sunday when during an appearance on CBS’ “Face the Nation” the Cambridge native decidedly did not rule it out saying, “One never knows. I’m not one to get into conjecture.”

In the post he mentions his charity work in the Congo, something he discussed on ABC’s This Week as well as testifying before Congress, as one of the reasons he’s not interested in entering Bay State politics.

“Right now it’s a privilege to spend my time working with Eastern Congo Initiative (ECI), supporting our veterans, drawing attention to the great many who go hungry in the U.S. everyday and using filmmaking to entertain and foster discussion about issues like our relationship to Iran,” Affleck said.

The movie star added his praise of Kerry, writing: “We are about to get a great Secretary of State.”

“There are some phenomenal candidates in Massachusetts for his Senate seat. I look forward to an amazing campaign,” Affleck added.

As for some of those candidates on the list, Gov. Deval Patrick is likely to appoint a replacement to fill Kerry’s seat in the interim period. Former Massachusetts governor and Democratic presidential nominee Michael Dukakis, as well as Vicki Kennedy, the widow of Ted Kennedy, are on Patrick’s list, according to reports.

Scott Brown, who lost to Elizabeth Warren in November, is widely believed to be the likely Republican nominee and is viewed as a strong contender. On the Democratic side there are several names often mentioned currently in the U.S. House of Representatives: Edward Markey, Michael Capuano, and Stephen Lynch. Another possibility includes Martha Coakley, the state attorney general who originally lost to Brown in the 2010 special election held after Kennedy’s death, which Brown won.

Patrick has said he won’t appoint anyone until Kerry is confirmed at state.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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