Party leaders remained optimistic that they could still win the special election.
Kirsten Hughes, the newly-elected chairman of the Massachusetts GOP, said in a statement there were “many potential candidates” who were weighing their options now that Brown was out of the picture. She did not mention any names.
Hughes also alluded to Brown’s upset win in 2010.
“We shocked the world in 2010, and united, we can do it again,” she said.
Rob Collins, executive director of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, said it was time for the party to move forward after Brown’s announcement. He predicted a nasty Democratic primary between Lynch and Markey and said the GOP was intent on defeating “whichever career politician limps through.”
Massachusetts Democratic leaders expressed confidence they would keep Kerry’s former seat.
Markey and Lynch both issued statements yesterday saying they understood and respected Brown’s reasons for not getting into the race.
Weld recently returned to Massachusetts to join a Boston law firm and had said he would consider a run for the Senate if Brown did not. Weld did not return a call seeking comment yesterday.
A message was also left with Healey, who served as lieutenant governor from 2003-2007 under then-Gov. Mitt Romney and lost the governor’s race to Democratic Gov. Deval Patrick in 2006.
Winslow, a former judge and chief legal counsel in Romney’s administration, said in a statement that he would reflect over the weekend on whether to run, weighing family considerations and “whether there is room in the national Republican Party for a member who is both fiscally prudent and socially tolerant.”
Tisei ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. House last year against Democratic Rep. John Tierney. He said yesterday he was surprised by Brown’s decision and would discuss his options with family, friends and supporters in the coming days.