BOSTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is endorsing fellow Democrat Edward Markey in the special election for the vacant Massachusetts U.S. Senate seat.

Markey is running against Republican Gabriel Gomez.

Obama released a statement Tuesday calling Markey "a passionate and effective champion for middle class and working families."

Obama said the longtime member of the state's congressional delegation has a strong record of helping businesses create jobs.

The president said Markey's work on fuel economy standards will save money for American consumers and reduce the nation's dependence on foreign oil. He said he also shares Markey's efforts to reduce gun violence.

Markey said he's honored by the endorsement.

The election to fill the seat left vacant by the resignation of John Kerry to become secretary of state is June 25.