In the past week, the potential dynamics have been rapidly changing in the Massachusetts Senate special election, brought on by the appointment of Senator and Boston College Law School 1976 alumnus John Kerry to the position of Secretary of State. Several potential candidates for the Republican nomination have announced their intention not to run in the election scheduled for Tuesday, June 25.
BC Law School 1985 graduate and former Senator Scott Brown announced on Friday, Feb. 1, that he would not seek the chance to regain the position that he had lost in November to Elizabeth Warren. This overturned the general consensus by both sides that Brown would most likely jump at the chance to regain a seat in the Senate. Texting the Boston Herald conservative columnist Howie Carr, Brown said, “U are the first to know,” regarding his decision.
Brown’s decision to forgo another special election run had a noticeable effect on the rest of the potential GOP candidates. Over the weekend, Richard Tisei, a republican, who had narrowly lost his bid to unseat Representative John Tierney (D- 6th district), decided not to run. Telling the Boston Globe that the time was not right, Tisei left the door to future congressional campaigns open.
Former Bay State Governor Bill Weld, who served from 1991 to 1997 and moved back to Massachusetts last fall, declined to enter the race. In a one-sentence statement released by his law firm, Weld put to rest any talk of a return to electoral politics for the time being. The 2010 Republican candidate for governor, Charlie Baker, followed suit, choosing to also remain in the private sector.
On Monday, Feb. 4, the focus turned to former Republican Presidential candidate and one-time Massachusetts’s Governor Mitt Romney’s son, Taggart Romney. At 42 years old, the oldest son of Mitt Romney also passed on a bid the same day as speculation regarding his consideration ramped up. Taggart Romney opted to continue to run his private equity firm and spend time with his family, who resides in Belmont, Massachusetts.
While there have been no candidates on the Republican side who have confirmed their candidacy, State Representative Daniel B. Winslow of Norfolk held a press conference yesterday, Feb. 5 , announcing his intention to create an exploratory committee. Also a BC Law School 1983 alumnus, Winslow said in part that he was “testing the waters” regarding the special U.S. Senate election. “I'm about 99 percent there, but I need to make sure the Republicans in Massachusetts want me to take that step,’’ he said.
The prospective candidate will have to hurry with a decision, as candidates wishing to run in the Senate primary for either party have only until Feb. 27 to gather the signatures of at least 10,000 confirmed registered voters. With that deadline only three weeks away, a definitive announcement confirming or denying Winslow or any other prospective candidate’s intention is expected within the week.
Whoever eventually declares his or her intention to run will likely face one of two democratic candidates currently in the running: Rep. Ed Markey (D- 5th District) or Rep. Stephen Lynch (D- 8th District). Both have degrees from BC Law School, with Markey also holding an undergraduate degree from BC as well. This, coupled with likely BC alumnus and candidate Rep. Winslow, spells a high chance of BC being well-represented in the U.S. Senate come June.