Massachusetts Democratic Lt. Gov. Tim Murray said Friday he won't run for governor in 2014, citing a desire to spend more time with his family.
"I've decided that I am not going to run for governor," Murray told the Worcester Telegram & Gazette. "It really comes down to a family decision, and that is where I need to focus."
Murray's decision comes as a surprise, as recent reports indicated he was ramping up his campaign to succeed Democratic Gov. Deval Patrick, who has announced he won't seek reelection.
While Murray would've brought a sizable warchest to the gubernatorial contest, he also would have carried significant baggage: lingering questions over his 2011 high-speed car crash and his connection to disgraced former Chelsea Housing Authority Michael McLaughlin.
With Murray out of the race, speculation will turn to two other statewide Democratic officeholders. Treasurer Steve Grossman has said he is weighing a run. Attorney General Martha Coakley hasn't publicly expressed interest, but reports indicate she's privately weighing a bid. Former Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services head Donald Berwick also has said he's mulling a run.
On the Republican side, 2010 nominee Charlie Baker and former Gov. Bill Weld are considered potential candidates. Former Sen. Scott Brown (R) also could opt to run for governor, though most expect him instead to jump into the looming special election to replace Sen. John Kerry, who has been nominated to be secretary of State.