Joseph P. Kennedy III, grandson of Robert Kennedy, will leave a Massachusetts prosecutor's office to pursue a bid for the congressional seat vacated by the retirement of Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., sources close to Kennedy told National Journal.
Kennedy, 31, would enter the race with the unmatchable family name and tenuous ties to the district, meeting a still-nebulous field taking shape slowly following Frank's November announcement that he would not seek re-election this year.
Kennedy will form an exploratory committee around the 4th Congressional district seat, sources said.
Kennedy, whose father, Joseph P. Kennedy II, represented a different Bay State district in Congress from 1987 to 1999, had joined the political incubator Middlesex County district attorney's office earlier this year, after working as a Cape and Island prosecutor and flirting briefly with a run for the House seat in that district.
A Stanford University and Harvard Law School graduate, Kennedy served in the Peace Corps and spent two years as a Cape and Islands assistant district attorney before moving to the Middlesex branch in August.
In November, just after Frank's announcement, Kennedy made clear to the Boston Herald that he was open to running for office.
"I just haven't had the time to give it any thought, the type of careful consideration that it requires," Kennedy told the paper. "I've always thought politics is an honorable profession. It demands that you give it careful thought before you jump into it. When I get the time to do that, I'll think about it, but we're not there yet."