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Posts in "Mass. Senate"

February 7, 2013

Massachusetts: Republican Winslow Officially Joins Senate Race

Republican state Rep. Dan Winslow made his campaign for the Senate official Thursday.

Winslow, a former judge and legal counsel to Mitt Romney and ex-Sen. Scott Brown, is the first GOP candidate to get in the race.

“I ask your prayers and good will for my family and me in this effort,” he wrote in a letter to local activists. “I will give it everything I have.”

In a short interview, Winslow said his campaign would be focused on the deficit and the economy. Asked about his close ties to Romney and Brown, two Republicans who lost Bay State electoral contests last November, Winslow replied: “I am my own man. I have a record of being socially moderate and fiscally conservative.”

He is one of four Republicans who have pulled nominating papers from the secretary of state’s office. As of Thursday afternoon, papers have been pulled for Winslow, MBA student Joshua Hill, former Ashland Board of Selectman Chairman Jon Fetherston and Therese M. Rohrbeck.

Full story

February 5, 2013

Massachusetts: GOP State Representative Exploring Senate Run

Republican state Rep. Dan Winslow announced Tuesday that he is making the first official moves to run in the special election for the Bay State’s open seat.

“Today I’m taking the necessary steps to form an exploratory committee to test the waters for the U.S. Senate,” Winslow said in a statement. “We need to fix a broken Washington where progress is being hampered by partisan gridlock. If we continue to elect the same Washington politicians, we can not expect different results.”

Winslow told The Boston Globe he was “99 percent there” on a run.

Winslow is the first Republican to take official steps toward a bid for the seat formerly held by Secretary of State John Kerry. In recent days, many other Republicans, including former Sen. Scott P. Brown, have taken their names out of contention.

Massachusetts Reps. Edward J. Markey and Stephen F. Lynch are running for the Democratic nomination for Senate.

Roll Call rates the Senate special election as Likely Democratic.

February 4, 2013

Massachusetts: Field of Potential Republicans Narrows for Senate Special

Time is short for Massachusetts Republicans, and the list of potential GOP candidates to run in the upcoming Senate special election is increasingly small.

On Monday morning, former Gov. William F. Weld, a Republican, said he would forgo a bid to fill the seat formerly held by Secretary of State John Kerry.

“While I am grateful for the kind expressions of support and encouragement which I have received, I will not be a candidate for United States Senator from Massachusetts in the special election this year,” Weld said in a statement.

Weld joins a growing list of Bay State Republicans who have rejected a Senate campaign. To make matters more daunting for the local GOP, any potential Republican candidate must collect 10,000 voter signatures by the end of the month.

Tagg Romney, the son of 2012 GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, won’t run, ABC News reported. Over the weekend, former state Sen. Richard Tisei said he wouldn’t mount a bid either.

Full story

February 3, 2013

Massachusetts: Tisei Not Running for Senate

Massachusetts: Tisei Not Running for Senate

(Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Former Massachusetts state Sen. Richard Tisei, a Republican, said he would not be a candidate in the special election for Senate in a statement late Saturday night.

“I believe it’s imperative that the Republican party put forward a strong candidate who can help bring much-needed change to Washington. Unfortunately, the timing is simply not right for me to do so — deeply as I feel about the need to strongly compete in this election,” he said. “It was also my desire to make this decision as quickly as possible so that other potential candidates would be able to consider whether they should run.”

Former Sen. Scott Brown’s decision Friday not to run for the open seat previously held by now-Secretary of State John Kerry left the GOP with few potential candidates who could seriously contest the seat. Full story

February 1, 2013

Massachusetts: Republicans Tisei, Winslow Weighing Possible Senate Bids

Massachusetts: Republicans Tisei, Winslow Weighing Possible Senate Bids

Tisei lost a tough congressional race in 2012. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Former state Sen. Richard Tisei and state Rep. Dan Winslow, both Republicans, floated the possibility that they might run for Senate in Massachusetts on the heels of  former Sen. Scott P. Brown’s announcement that he will not run in the special election to succeed Secretary of State John Kerry.

Without Brown, the Republican bench in Massachusetts is thin, with no obvious candidate for a statewide bid.

“I will reflect this weekend about my own family’s needs and whether there is room in the national Republican Party for a member who is both fiscally prudent and socially tolerant,” Winslow, an attorney and former chief counsel to Brown and ex-Gov. Mitt Romney, said in a statement.

Tisei, who lost a hard-fought race against Democratic Rep. John F. Tierney in November, said he was evaluating the race.

“[I]n the coming days, I will be talking with family, friends, and supporters to consider the best role that I can play in helping to bring new, alternative leadership to Washington,” he said in a statement.

Democratic Reps. Stephen F. Lynch and Edward J. Markey are battling for the Democratic nomination. The general election will be held June 25. CQ Roll Call rates the Massachusetts Senate special election as Likely Democratic.

Massachusetts: Brown Won’t Run for Senate

Massachusetts: Brown Wont Run for Senate

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 1:40 p.m. | Former Sen. Scott P. Brown, the Massachusetts Republican unseated by Democrat Elizabeth Warren in 2012, announced Friday he will not run in the Senate special election to fill the seat held by Sen. John Kerry.

“Over these past few weeks I have given serious thought about the possibility of running again, as events have created another vacancy requiring another special election. I have received a lot of encouragement from friends and supporters to become a candidate, and my competitive instincts were leading in the same direction,” he said in a statement.

“Even so, I was not at all certain that a third Senate campaign in less than four years, and the prospect of returning to a Congress even more partisan than the one I left, was really the best way for me to continue in public service at this time. And I know it’s not the only way for me to advance the ideals and causes that matter most to me,” he said.

“That is why I am announcing today that I will not be a candidate for the United States Senate in the upcoming special election,” Brown concluded.

Kerry’s resignation from the Senate will take effect Friday afternoon and he will soon be sworn in as secretary of State.

Two Democrats are vying for the Senate nomination in the special election: Reps. Edward J. Markey and Stephen F. Lynch. Markey, who has the backing of the Washington, D.C., Democratic establishment, begins the sprint to the April 30 primary as the front-runner.

The Republican bench in the Bay State is thin. Potential contenders include former Gov. Bill Weld and former Lt. Gov. Kerry Healey.

Republicans in the state are pessimistic about the race.

“It’s a tough one,” said longtime Bay State Republican strategist Rob Gray. “A special is eminently winnable for Brown, but really doesn’t look as winnable for the crop of potential candidates who come after Brown.”

“With Brown out, the chances of winning the special, go from 60 or 70 percent to well below 20 percent,” he said.

But, Gray added, in the unlikely circumstance that Weld got in the race, Republicans’ chances would increase.

The general election will be held June 25.

January 31, 2013

Massachusetts: Lynch Launches Senate Bid

As expected, Rep. Stephen F. Lynch on Thursday launched a bid for Senate, releasing a YouTube video and barnstorming around the state. The official announcement is scheduled for Thursday afternoon at a hall at Ironworkers Local 7 in South Boston, Lynch’s home turf.

The Web video telegraphed some themes voters can expect to to hear from the congressman as he takes on his colleague, Rep. Edward J. Markey, in the Democratic primary for the special election being held to replace resigning Sen. John Kerry, who will be soon be sworn in as the secretary of State.

“Lynch has never forgotten where he came from,” a male narrator with a syrupy voice says of the congressman, a former ironworker. “Stephen Lynch for Senate. He’ll go to Washington to stand up, not to fit in.”

Markey has the backing of the Democratic establishment in Washington, D.C., along with the endorsement of Kerry and others.

Voters will make their choice April 30.

Former Sen. Scott P. Brown, a Republican who lost to now-Sen. Elizabeth Warren in November, has not yet said whether he’ll enter the race.

January 30, 2013

Massachusetts: Patrick Names Cowan as Interim Senator

UPDATED 11:45 a.m. | Massachusetts Democratic Gov. Deval Patrick announced Wednesday that his former chief of staff, William “Mo” Cowan, will serve as the state’s interim senator until a new senator is chosen in a June 25 special election.

“Today I have the great honor, privilege and personal pleasure to appoint Mo Cowan as United States Senator in the interim,” Patrick said at a Boston news conference.

Calling Cowan a “highly-respected public citizen,” Patrick tapped the fellow attorney to fill the seat soon to be vacated by John Kerry. Cowan has served in Patrick’s administration since 2009 and is his former chief of staff and chief legal counsel.

When he takes the oath of office, Cowan will become the second African-American senator currently serving, alongside Republican Tim Scott of South Carolina. Full story

January 28, 2013

Massachusetts: Markey Calls for the ‘People’s Pledge’

Massachusetts: Markey Calls for the People’s Pledge’

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Edward J. Markey is calling on all candidates who might run in the special election to succeed Sen. John Kerry to urge super PACs and other third-party groups against spending money in the race.

The thing is, Markey was the only declared candidate as of press time.

“People’s pledge” is the term Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren and former Republican Sen. Scott P. Brown used to describe their agreement to eliminate outside spending in their blockbuster 2012 campaign. Full story

January 25, 2013

Massachusetts: Talk of Lynch Bid to Replace Kerry Increases

Massachusetts Democratic Rep. Stephen F. Lynch will announce his decision on a Senate run next week, but has been setting the groundwork for a bid — from fundraising to political maneuvering — should he decide to get in.

Lynch spokesman Scott Ferson told CQ Roll Call the congressman is doing everything he would need to do to mount a Senate bid next week and will make a final announcement on his decision then, when Sen. John Kerry is expected to be confirmed as secretary of State.

Lynch on Friday denied local media reports that he had made up his mind to challenge Rep. Edward J. Markey, telling the Boston Herald that he is still weighing what he would do. “I realize that time is short, but I still think we have a shot,” Lynch said to the paper.

Kerry is expected to be confirmed as secretary of State next week and immediately resign his Senate office. Democratic Gov. Deval Patrick will then appoint an interim senator and set the date of the special election, expected in early summer. Full story

January 18, 2013

Massachusetts: Rabbi Passes on Senate Bid

Rabbi Jonah Pesner, a Democrat who had earlier floated the idea of a Senate bid, said today he will not run in the special election for the Massachusetts seat soon to be vacated by Democratic Sen. John Kerry.

Democratic Bay State Rep. Edward J. Markey remains the only declared candidate for the Senate special election. Rep. Michael E. Capuano, D-Mass., announced he had decided against a run earlier this week. Markey is supported by the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and has worked to clear the Democratic field — so far with great success.

In an email to friends and supporters, Pesner wrote that the last few weeks had  “been among the most exhilarating of my life.” But, after consideration, “[a]t this time, I have decided not to run for the United States Senate,” he wrote.

Pesner left open the possibility of a bid down the road. “Perhaps there will be a time in the future when the call to elected leadership will make sense for me and my family,” he added.

Kerry is expected to soon be confirmed as secretary of State, leaving the Senate seat open. Democratic Gov. Deval Patrick will then appoint an interim senator and set the date for the special election. Former Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass., who was ousted in November by Democrat Elizabeth Warren, has not yet said whether he will run in the special election.

January 15, 2013

Massachusetts: Capuano Won’t Run for Senate

Massachusetts: Capuano Wont Run for Senate

Capuano said Tuesday that he won't run for Senate. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Massachusetts Democratic Rep. Michael E. Capuano announced Tuesday that he will not run in the Senate special election to fill the seat expected to be vacated by Democrat John Kerry.

Capuano’s colleague, Democratic Rep. Edward J. Markey, is the only declared candidate, and he has worked to clear the Democratic field. Kerry is expected to soon be confirmed as the next secretary of State. The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and Kerry, among others, support Markey’s bid.

“After careful consideration, I have decided not to enter the race for US Senate,” Capuano said in a statement. “Instead, I look forward to focusing on the important issues facing the new Congress. My current work in the House and whatever opportunities the future may hold, afford me the greatest honor of my life, fighting for the Citizens of the Commonwealth.” Full story

January 14, 2013

Five Races to Watch in 2013

After a hard-fought and highly charged presidential battle in 2012 — not to mention Congressional races and redistricting — one might hope that 2013 would provide a respite from campaign politics. No such luck.

The transition from the first Obama administration to the second is expected to produce at least one high-profile Senate special election (in Massachusetts). More specials could be around the corner if the president looks to Congress to fill other Cabinet vacancies.

There are House specials under way as well due to resignations, giving no rest for the weary political class — and a continued revenue stream for a small handful of campaign consultants.

The 2013 specials are in addition to the two off-year gubernatorial races on tap this year in Virginia and New Jersey: two states worth watching for very different reasons. Virginia, especially, will be fascinating to watch, and the battle in the commonwealth ranks No. 1 on our list.
Full story

January 12, 2013

Shop Talk: Markey Hires Benzing as Campaign Manager

Massachusetts Democratic Rep. Edward J. Markey is staffing up in anticipation of a Senate special election and has hired Sarah Benzing as his campaign manager.

Benzing ran Ohio Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown’s successful re-election campaign in 2012 and New York Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand’s race in 2011.

“Sarah is the best choice to lead this campaign of big issues and ideas,” Markey said in a statement. “Her proven track-record managing grassroots campaigns shows she has the leadership, know-how and passion to lead this campaign to victory.” Full story

January 11, 2013

Massachusetts: LCV Endorses Markey; Downing Won’t Run

Massachusetts: LCV Endorses Markey; Downing Wont Run

Markey was endorsed by the League of Conservation Voters Action Fund. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 12:30 p.m. | The League of Conservation Voters Action Fund — a well-funded environmental group — on Friday endorsed Massachusetts Democratic Rep. Edward J. Markey in his bid for the Senate as a potential primary rival decided against a bid.

Also, Democratic state Sen. Ben Downing, who had earlier floated his name for a potential Senate run, on Friday announced he would not run for the seat soon to be vacated by Democratic Sen. John Kerry.

“After considering every aspect of a possible campaign, I have determined that I will not be a candidate for the U.S. Senate in the upcoming special election,” Downing said in a statement.

Downing’s decision was a win for Markey and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, which, along with Kerry, backs the congressman’s bid.

Full story

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