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Joseph Kennedy III weighs bid for Congressional seat

By Lauren Keiper

BOSTON (Reuters) - Joseph Kennedy III, the grandson of the late Senator Robert F. Kennedy, announced on Thursday he was considering a bid for the Congressional seat from Massachusetts long held by retiring Representative Barney Frank.

Kennedy, 31, said he is resigning as a prosecutor at the Middlesex District Attorney's office, with his last day there in two weeks, as he explores a possible candidacy.

"My decision to look seriously at elected office is grounded in a deep commitment to public service and my experience -- both my own and that of my family -- in finding just, practical, and bipartisan solutions to difficult challenges," Kennedy said in a statement.

As a potential candidate representing the Fourth District of Massachusetts, Kennedy, son of former Democratic Congressman Joseph Kennedy II, would be vying for the post held by Frank since 1980.

Frank, a Democrat, announced his retirement in late November.

Kennedy would be the latest of many Kennedys to seek public office, although no member of the famous political family is in office at the moment.

Kennedy's grandfather was Robert F. Kennedy, who served as U.S. Attorney General and as a U.S. Senator from New York. His great-uncles were the late U.S. President John F. Kennedy and the late Senator Ted Kennedy from Massachusetts.

His father founded the nonprofit Citizens Energy Corp in 1979 and later served as a U.S. Congressman from Massachusetts for 12 years.

Kennedy, a graduate of Stanford University and Harvard Law School, is a former member of the Peace Corps and was a prosecutor at the Cape and Islands District Attorney's office.

Kennedy said in his statement he will make a final decision about entering the race after he has time to talk with potential constituents about issues.

(Editing by Ellen Wulfhorst and Peter Bohan)