This is how troubling Republican prospects look in the upcoming Massachusetts Senate special election: The most viable candidate may end up being a Romney.
Tagg Romney, the oldest son of Mitt Romney, is considering running to fill the Senate seat vacated by Secretary of State John Kerry, The Boston Herald reports.
It would be difficult for Tagg to distance himself from his father's political legacy, particularly since he was actively involved in his father’s campaign. Despite serving as Massachusetts governor for one term, Mitt Romney didn’t fare well in his home state in the 2012 presidential election, losing Massachusetts by 23 points. And he left the Governor's Mansion with weak marks, with his approval rating at 34 percent in a Boston Globe poll conducted the October before he left office.
While the Romney brand isn't particularly strong anymore in Massachusetts, Tagg Romney boasts the name recognition and money needed to combat Democrats in the June special election. Reps. Edward Markey and Stephen Lynch are both running in the Democratic primary.
Republicans had been hopeful they could flip Kerry's seat, as long as former Republican Sen. Scott Brown ran. GOP leaders tried to recruit Brown, but he announced Friday he will sit the race out. After that announcement, Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Executive Director Guy Cecil tweeted:
:)— Guy Cecil (@guycecil) February 1, 2013
Meanwhile, over the weekend, other credible GOP candidates announced they will take a pass. Former Gov. William Weld also said in a brief statement Monday that he won’t be running. Richard Tisei, who nearly ousted Democratic Rep. John Tierney, announced Saturday that he was sitting this one out. And The Boston Herald reported Saturday that Lt. Gov. Kerry Healey, who served as Romney's lieutenant governor, was "unlikely to run."
Update, 5:15 p.m.: It turns out Tagg Romney is not running, saying in a statement that "the timing is not right for me" and "I am currently committed to my business and to spending as much time as I can with my wife and children."