Former U.S. Congressman Joseph Kennedy has said he will not run for the U.S. Senate seat held for 47 years by his late uncle Ted Kennedy.

In a statement released Monday, Kennedy said he would do a better job of serving the public by remaining in his current job as the head of Citizens Energy Corporation, a non-profit company that provides heating oil to low-income families.

Many politicians who expressed interest in running for the Massachusetts Senate seat said they would not run against a member of the Kennedy family.

A primary election to fill the empty seat will be held on December 8. The general election will be January 19.

Ted Kennedy, who was one of two Massachusetts senators in Congress, died last month of brain cancer.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.