GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

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February 9, 2013

Tarr urges huddle for GOP Senate hopefuls

BOSTON — Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr, the Gloucester Republican who sparked a rush of encouragement from Cape Ann voters this week when he said he’s considering a run for the vacant U.S. Senate seat, said he would like those considering a run to gather to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of each potential candidate in the GOP field.

Tarr, who said he expects to make a decision regarding his own potential U.S. Senate candidacy by Monday, broached the idea of a GOP hopefuls’ get-together with Republican Party officials on Wednesday to sound out candidates considering a run for the seat vacated by Secretary of State John Kerry; to date, those include State Rep. Daniel Winslow of Norfolk, who announced his candidacy Thursday afternoon, Cohasset businessman Gabriel Gomez and Governor’s Councilor Jennie Caissie.

GOP party officials said it was unlikely that such a meeting would happen in the coming days, due in part to the expected wekeend blizzard.

“While many potential candidates have been considering a run for the U.S. Senate, now is the time to make a decision and start gathering signatures to ensure they make the ballot,” said newly elected party chairwoman Kirsten Hughes in a statement responding to questions about the possible meeting.

Hughes said the party sent signature sheets to Republican State Committee members so that they could be prepared to begin collecting signatures as soon as a candidate officially declares.

“I anticipate our party will have a contested primary election, and I think that will prove beneficial in energizing our grassroots in preparation for the general election,” Hughes said.

Winslow, a Norfolk Republican, made it official on Thursday afternoon declaring himself to be a candidate for the U.S. Senate two days after he opened an exploratory committee and said he was “99 percent” sure he would run.

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