Brown Decision Leaves GOP Scrambling for Candidates For US Senate Election In MA

The field of potential high-profile republican candidates for the US Senate seat in Massachusetts vacated by John Kerry has narrowed considerably since he was sworn in as Secretary of State last week. On Friday, former Senator Scott Brown surprised many when he decided not to run in June’s Special Election to complete Kerry’s term, citing the strain on his family running a third Senate campaign within four years. On Saturday, former State Senate Minority leader Richard Tisei, who lost a close race to Democratic Congressman John Tierney in November, also opted out of the race. Now former Governor William Weld, once the state’s most prominent Republican office-holder says he won’t run either. Republican State Senator Michael Knapik of Westfield says there are still a few well known GOP candidates who could enter the race, including State Representative Dan Winslow of Norfolk. But Knapik says they are going to have to make their move soon.
“I’d like to think they they’re thinking very hard, meeting with their families. They know they can raise the money. They know they could gather a pretty energized republican organization. But again, time is of the essence.”
Potential candidates have to gather 10,000 signatures by February 27th to get into the April 30th primary. State Representative Mike Humason, a fellow Republican from Westfield, says that presents a challenge to any candidate trying to run a statewide campaign in solidly Democratic Massachusetts.
“Any candidate has to get their message out, introduce themselves to the voters obviously and convince the voters as to why they would be the best choice for United States Senator. And then of course two years later run again for the same position, which is a very daunting task for any candidate.”
Despite that, both Humason and Knapik say they’re optimistic the GOP will present a candidate capable of defeating their Democratic challenger, just like Scott Brown did two years ago.