Richard Tisei, one of the Republicans’ best hopes for the now-longshot Massachusetts Senate special election after Scott Brown took a pass, announced Saturday night that he too will sit out the race.
“I believe it’s imperative that the Republican party put forward a strong candidate who can help bring much-needed change to Washington,”the former State Senate minority leader said in a statement.
“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. 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.”
Tisei, 50, is keeping the door open to a future run for Congress. He’s openly gay, supports abortion rights and narrowly lost a House bid to Democratic congressman John Tierney in November, the closest of the state’s congressional races.
“Whether as a candidate or concerned citizen, I will continue to be involved with other men and women of integrity who share my desire for real reforms,” Tisei said.
Brown said Friday that he will not try to fill the seat vacated by now-Secretary of State John Kerry, opening the door to a run for governor next year instead.
Other Republicans who might still run for the Senate nomination are former Lt. Gov. Kerry Healey and former Gov. William Weld (who recently moved back to the state from New York). Gabriel Gomez, a former Navy Seal who works in finance, had expressed interest even before Brown’s announcement.
There’s buzz in some quarters about a member of the Romney family running, but that is unlikely at best.
The race that matters now is the contest for the Democratic nomination. Reps. Ed Markey and Stephen Lynch will face off in an April 30 primary. Brown was the first Republican elected to the U.S. Senate from Massachusetts since Edward Brooke in 1972.
Democrat Mo Cowan was appointed last week to serve as an interim senator.