It’s starting to shape up into quite a race, as the field of potential Republican candidates for U.S. Senate continues to grow.
This week, two more Republicans threw their hats in the proverbial ring in the race for the U.S. Senate seat left vacant by the appointment of John Kerry to Secretary of State - Norfolk’s Sean Bielat and Cohasset’s Gabriel Gomez.
Candidates have just under two weeks to meet the Feb. 27 deadline to gather the 10,000 certified signatures needed to appear on the April 30 primary ballot. The special election is June 25.
After losing two races for Congress, Bielat has opened up a federal campaign office to raise money for a Senate run, according to a report in the Boston Globe.
Bielat lost to Barney Frank in 2010 and then lost to Joe Kennedy III in November. A major in the Marine Corps Reserves, Bielat works as an independent consultant.
Gomez, a former Navy SEAL, is a private equity investor and is running as a Washington outsider. He pulled nomination papers on Monday, Feb. 11.
“I’m not a politician,” Gomez told the Boston Herald. “I’m not saying governance or being senator is easy, nor am I saying I don’t have some things to learn. I am saying I am up to the task.”
Another high profile Republican said to be considering a run is former U.S. Attorney and Plymouth District Attorney Michael Sullivan.
Sullivan told the Boston Globe that he is giving “serious consideration” to running for U.S. Senate. He has reportedly started reaching out to Republican activists and collecting signatures.
Already in the Running
The Republican field is starting to get a bit crowded. State Rep. Dan Winslow (R-Norfolk) announced last week he was officially running, along with former Nantucket selectman and county commissioner Douglas Bennett. Ashland Board of Selectmen Chairman Jon Fetherston had said he was looking to run, but announced on Friday he was ending his run and instead was throwing support behind Sullivan.
Congressmen Stephen Lynch (D-South Boston) and Ed Markey (D-Malden) are battling it out in the Democratic race. Lynch represents the district that includes Beacon Hill.
Beverly Libertarian Daniel Fishman is also looking to get his name on the ballot.
Tarr Opts Out
One Republican who won’t be seeking the seat is Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr (R-Gloucester). According to the Gloucester Times, he announced Thursday night that he will not enter the race.
The newspaper said Tarr issued a statement citing his commitment to work on the many issues facing the state of Massachusetts as his reason for not running.
”I cannot in good conscience turn away from this mission when our state needs leadership now more than ever,” he said in the statement.
Tarr joins an impressive list of Republican candidates who have decided not to run for Kerry’s seat. U.S. Sen. Scott Brown, former Lt. Gov. Kerry Healey, former State Sen. Minority Leader Richard Tisei and Tagg Romney all previously announced that they would not seek the seat.