BOSTON (AP) — Republican former Sen. Scott Brown has decided not to run in a Massachusetts special election to fill Democrat John Kerry's seat, dealing a blow to Republicans.
A Republican official familiar with the decision said Friday that Brown formally ruled out a bid on Friday. The official wasn't authorized to share internal discussions and spoke on the condition of anonymity.
Brown won the 2010 special election for longtime Sen. Ted Kennedy's seat following his death, but lost a bruising re-election battle last year to Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren. The Republican remained popular among Massachusetts voters and still had a statewide political organization and demonstrated an ability to raise tens of millions in campaign donations.
GOP officials in Washington and Massachusetts widely considered Brown the strongest possible Republican candidate in a state that traditionally favors Democrats.
With Brown out of the running, potential Republican candidates include former Gov. William Weld and former Lt. Gov. Kerry Healey.
Weld, who recently returned to Massachusetts to join Mintz Levin, a Boston law firm, has said he would consider a run for the Senate if Brown did not seek the seat. He did not immediately return a call seeking comment.
A message was also left with Healey, who served as lieutenant governor under then-Gov. Mitt Romney from 2003-2007 and lost the governor's race to Democratic Gov. Deval Patrick in 2006.
U.S. Reps. Edward Markey and Stephen Lynch are seeking the Democratic nomination for the seat being vacated by Kerry, who has resigned his seat to become secretary of state.
The Democratic and Republican primaries are scheduled for April 30 and the special election for June 25. Patrick this week named William "Mo" Cowan, a former top aide, to fill the seat on an interim basis until the election.
The general election is June 25.