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Warren files exploratory committee to run for Senate in Massachusetts

First Read confirms that Elizabeth Warren has filed an exploratory committee to run for the U.S. Senate.

A final decision on her candidacy will come in the next few weeks, some time after Labor Day, a Warren adviser tells First Read.

"Elizabeth has spent the last week listening to people from across the Commonwealth as she considers a campaign for the US Senate," Warren spokesman Kyle Sullivan said in an email. "She wants to continue this conversation and the exploratory committee will assist her in doing so."

If she runs, it could pit Warren -- a liberal Harvard law professor who helped create the Obama administration's Consumer Financial Protection Bureau -- against popular incumbent Republican Scott Brown. But she faces a potentially crowded Democratic primary first that could include as many as six others.

Warren served as the chairwoman of the Congressional Oversight Panel, created after the 2008 financial collapse. Warren has been a hero of the left, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee set up a "Draft Elizabeth Warren for Senate!" page, for example.

But she was also a lightning rod, attracting criticism from those on the right, who thought her calls for more regulation went too far.

Democrats are largely on the defensive this cycle, but they hope to put liberal Massachusetts in play, especially in a presidential year.

*** UPDATE *** NBC's Sarah Blackwill passes along an email from Warren's exploratory committee website:

Dear ,

Thank you for visiting the website of my exploratory committee and for signing up for email updates.

In the weeks ahead, I want to hear from people across Massachusetts about the challenges we face and talk about how we can get our economy growing again. I also want to hear your ideas about how we can fix what all of us – regardless of party – know is a badly broken political system.

We have a lot of hard work to do in our commonwealth and our country. We need to rebuild our economy, family by family and block by block. We need to create new jobs and fix our broken housing market. We need to make sure that there is real accountability on Wall Street and that the greed and recklessness that created the last financial crisis do not create another one. We need to restore the hope of a secure retirement and the promise of a good education.

I am glad to be back home, and I look forward to discussing what we can accomplish together. In the meantime, make sure to join me on Facebook at http://elizabethforma.com/facebook.

Thanks,
Elizabeth