Massachusetts: Assessing the Would-Be Candidates for a Senate Special Election

By AbLivingston | Roll Call, December 14, 2012 | Go to article overview

Massachusetts: Assessing the Would-Be Candidates for a Senate Special Election


AbLivingston, Roll Call


It has become clear in the last 24 hours that Sen. John Kerry, D- Mass., is a leading contender to be the next secretary of State, touching off a theoretical chess game of speculation about who will fill his Senate seat.

If Kerry does resign to move to the State Department, Gov. Deval Patrick (D) will appoint a short-term successor to serve until a special election can take place. More on the politics of that after the jump, but first, here are the names being mentioned for a special election.

DEMOCRATS:

One plugged-in state Democratic operative laid out the different categories for possible Democratic candidates.

Group One -- Current House Delegation

A 2013 special election would essentially be a free run for any House member because he or she wouldn't have to give up his or her current seat. Here are the names being floated around Boston on Friday morning. Also, if it is a Member of Congress who succeeds Kerry either by appointment or election, the same succession laws apply to that House seat as a Senate vacancy.

* Rep. Edward J. Markey: "I heard that Markey is trying to clear the field. Good luck," the operative said.

* Rep. Michael E. Capuano: He ended up being the only member to run in the Senate special election that resulted from the death of Sen. Edward M. Kennedy. He finished second in the primary and is viewed as almost certain to run again if there is a vacancy.

* Rep. Stephen F. Lynch: He eyed running in the 2010 special election but opted against it.

Group Two -- Also-Rans From 2012 Democratic Primary

Sen.-elect Elizabeth Warren essentially cleared the Democratic field last cycle. Some Democrats who tried to run last time could try again:

* Newton Mayor Setti Warren

* City Year co-founder Alan Khazei

* Immigration attorney Marisa DeFranco

* Activist Bob Massie

Group Three -- Fresh Face

* State Sen. Benjamin Downing

REPUBLICANS:

* Sen. Scott P. Brown: Brown is the most obvious GOP candidate, and if he runs, he will clear the field of mainstream candidates. But the 2014 gubernatorial race weighs as an option for Brown as well. Democrats are preparing for him to run again. …

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