By Marjorie Nesin
---- — State Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr announced last night that he will not run for U.S. Senate.
The Gloucester Republican had been contemplating for nearly a week whether he would make a grab for the seat recently vacated by John Kerry, who is now secretary of state.
Tarr pointed to a commitment to his work on the state level in the areas of public safety, fiscal spending and economic growth as his reason for remaining on the sidelines.
“I cannot in good conscience turn away from this mission when our state needs leadership now more than ever,” he said in a prepared statement issued last night.
Tarr said he looks forward to remaining in his state Senate role, working especially on issues within the criminal justice system and with reforming the state’s welfare system.
“While I have seriously considered a candidacy for the U.S. Senate to address disturbing federal issues, I have never lost sight of the equally troubling problems facing our commonwealth,” Tarr wrote.
Tarr had initially said he would have decided whether to run by this past Monday, then pushed any announcement back due to the weekend blizzard and his return to the Statehouse for Senate sessions earlier this week. Tarr, the highest-ranking elected Republican in the state government, had said his choice hinged in part on whether he believed he would be more productive in Washington or as the state Senate minority leader.
“I will be forever grateful for the overwhelming support I have received from concerned people across this great state over the last several weeks,” Tarr said.
Had he chosen to run, Tarr would have faced off in an April 30 Republican primary against former U.S. Attorney Michael Sullivan, who joined the race yesterday; businessman Gabriel Gomez of Cohasset; and state Rep. Dan Winslow of Norfolk.
Democratic Congressmen Edward Markey and Stephen Lynch both have declared their candidacies on that side of the April 30 primary run, and Libertarian Daniel Fishman is also running.
The special election is slated for June 26.