With Scott Brown backing out of the special election to the Senate in Massachusetts, some wondered whether former Governor and erstwhile presidential candidate Mitt Romney might take a shot at filling the rest of John Kerry’s term in office. Instead, the Boston Herald reports that the task might go to the next generation of Romneys:
Tagg Romney is considering a run in the special Senate election now that Scott Brown has opted out, the Truth Squad has learned.
Calls for Romney, 42, to join in the short campaign to replace Secretary of State John F. Kerry have increased since the Herald first reported heavyweight Republicans are urging both Romney and his mother, Ann, to get in.
The eldest son of former governor and presidential candidate Mitt Romney already has statewide name recognition and could quickly ramp up the campaign infrastructure for a short, five-month race.
The Romney brand sells well in Massachusetts — not in presidential races, of course, but Mitt won a statewide run in 2002 and acquitted himself reasonably well in one term. Tagg has worked on his father’s campaigns over the last five years, taking an increasingly public profile as a surrogate for his father. It would make sense for Mitt Romney to pass the torch at this point, although the elder Romney is hardly too old for the job. He will turn 66 before the election, but that’s practically the junior varsity in a chamber known for its aging members.
One other big Republican name has decided to take a pass. William Weld, who served for six years as governor, announced today that he won’t run in the special Senate election, either:
Former Massachusetts Gov. William Weld says he won’t run in the June 25th special election to succeed John Kerry in the U.S. Senate.
The Republican said in a statement Monday that he was grateful for the encouragement he’s received, but that he wouldn’t be a candidate.
Neither will former state Senate minority leader Richard Tisei:
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.
Tagg Romney could end up being the only big name on the Republican side of the ballot … if he decides to run. ABC News says he’s not considering it (via Twitchy):
Two sources close to Tagg Romney and his father Mitt say Tagg won't run in Mass. special Senate election. (via @shushwalshe)
— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) February 4, 2013
Well, we’ll see. It wouldn’t be the first time in politics that a trial balloon has gone up with some denials attached. The field has certainly cleared for Tagg at this point. Politico reports that some have called for Mitt’s wife Ann to run, but while she became a great asset to Mitt’s campaign, she has health issues that would probably keep her from choosing a political career for herself. Undoubtedly, she will prove just as valuable to Tagg as she did to Mitt as a powerful surrogate on the campaign trail — if a third generation of Romneys decides to pursue politics in this special election, where money and name recognition have the best chance to sway voters.
Update: Say, remember that Tagg Romney for Senate boomlet? Good times, good times:
“I have been humbled by the outreach I received this weekend encouraging me to become a candidate for the US Senate. I love my home state and admit it would be an honor to represent the citizens of our great Commonwealth. However, I am currently committed to my business and to spending as much time as I can with my wife and children. The timing is not right for me, but I am hopeful that the people of Massachusetts will select someone of great integrity, vision, and compassion as our next US Senator.”
It probably won’t be a Republican, though, especially if one won’t run for the seat.