Rep. Steve Lynch, D-Mass., has confirmed that he will not seek to challenge Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass., in 2012 - not a surprise, since many Massachusetts political observers have long believed the field is set.
Lynch appeared to come far closer to a run the last time the seat opened, in the fall of 2009, until run-ins with labor largely over his opposition to a public option in the health care expansion bill forced him to drop out of the race before ever really getting in. Since, Lynch has mended fences with the unions and was viewed by some in Massachusetts as the type of hard-nosed moderate who could stack up favorably against Brown, as long as he could get out of the primary.
"Congressman Lynch thinks we have a solid group of Democratic candidates, and he will not be a candidate," a Lynch spokesman told National Journal.
That eliminates another Bay State congressman from the roster of prospective candidates, as Elizabeth Warren has begun to soak up much of the excitement in the progressive wing of the party. Rep. Michael Capuano, D-Mass., said earlier this month he would not enter the race.