September 13, 2011 / 8:11 PM / in 6 years

Consumer advocate Warren to launch Senate run

BOSTON (Reuters) - Elizabeth Warren, a prominent consumer advocate and former official in President Barack Obama’s administration, will announce a run for the Senate in Massachusetts on Wednesday, a campaign official confirmed.

“The pressures on middle-class families are worse than ever, but it is the big corporations that get their way in Washington,” Warren said in a statement. “I want to change that. I will work my heart out to earn the trust of the people of Massachusetts.”

Warren, a Harvard Law School professor, will be the highest-profile Democrat to go up against popular Massachusetts Republican incumbent Scott Brown, who in 2010 won the seat held for decades by Edward Kennedy, a liberal icon who died of a brain tumor in August 2009.

Warren locked horns with Wall Street in her work setting up the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and as chairwoman of the congressional panel created to oversee the U.S. banking bailout in 2008.

Opposition from Republicans in Congress was thought to have stopped Obama from nominating Warren to run the consumer agency and she resigned from his administration on August 1.

She formed an exploratory committee for a Senate run in mid-August and has been on a tour of the state talking to potential supporters in small groups. She will kick off her official campaign with several appearances on Wednesday.

Encouraged to run by liberal groups such as the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, Warren has already received an endorsement from the Massachusetts Nurses Association, which cited her “dedication to the nation’s middle class.”

Unseating Brown will be no easy task. He has leveraged his surprise win into a national profile and has amassed a large campaign warchest along with high favorability ratings.

In a survey taken August 30 to September 1 by the MassINC polling group for WBUR radio, Warren trailed Brown by just 9 percentage points with more than a year to go until the November 2012 congressional elections.

The survey of 500 likely voters had a margin of error of plus or minus 4.4 percent.

Warren, 62, grew up in Oklahoma, where her father was a janitor. She is a former Methodist Sunday School teacher.

A best-selling author and respected academic, she was named one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World in 2009 and 2010, and Bostonian of the Year by the Boston Globe newspaper in 2009.

Editing by Eric Walsh and Christopher Wilson

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