Richard Tisei, the former state senator and lieutenant governor’s candidate who mounted a fierce and often controversial challenge last fall to Congressman John Tierney, says he will not seek the U.S. Senate seat left behind by Secretary of State John Kerry.
Instead, he will join former U.S. Sen. Scott Brown on the Republican Party sidelines in the race for what would amount to an 18-month term, with the same seat due up for election again in November 2014.
Tisei, whose run against Tierney drew more than $4 million in national “SuperPAC” money — and drew widespread criticism for what critics saw as an “attack ad” campaign targeting the legal troubles of Tierney’s wife, Patrice — announced on Saturday that he would not be among the candidates seeing Kerry’s seat, now held by interim Sen. William “Mo” Cowan, who was appointed to the post by Gov. Deval Patrick last week.
Democratic Congressmen Edward Markey of Malden and Stephen Lynch of South Boston have both announced their runs for the seat, which is on track for an April 30 primary and June 25 general election across the state.
“I’ve been humbled by so many people who’ve urged me to run for this seat, following Senator Scott Brown’s decision not to run on Friday,” Tisei, of Lynnfield, said in a prepared statement. “I believe it’s imperative that the Republican Party put forward a strong candidate who can help bring much-needed change to Washington.
“Unfortunately, the timing is simply not right for me to do so — deeply as I feel about the need to strongly compete in this election,” Tisei added. “It was also my desire to make this decision as quickly as possible so that other potential candidates would be able to consider whether they should run.”
Tisei, according to a series of polls heading into the final weeks of the November race, held a lead over Tierney before the congressman’s supporters rallied and pulled out a victory for Tierney’s ninth 6th District term. While Tisei carried 28 of the district’s 39 communities, Tierney triumphed by dominating in the cities of Lynn, Salem and Gloucester, carrying Lynn by a count of better than 3-to-1 and taking America’s Oldest Seaport by a margin of 8,726 to 5,669. Tierney essentially won the race with 48 percent of the vote to Tisei’s 47 percent, with Beverly Libertarian Daniel Fishman garnering 4.6 percent, or 16,668 votes, as well.