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February 5, 2013

Tarr considering run for U.S. Senate seat

BOSTON — Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr, the Gloucester Republican who helped mentor Scott Brown on fisheries and other North Shore issues during Brown’s 2010 special election run, is considering his own run for the open U.S. Senate seat, he told the State House News Service tonight, saying his decision “absolutely” would be made by next Monday if not sooner.

Tarr said he started thinking about it after the announcement last Friday that his former colleague, Brown, would not seek to reclaim a seat in the upper chamber of Congress. The Republicans lost another potential candidate over the weekend when Richard Tisei, who preceded Tarr as Senate Minority leader and mounted a tight challenge to Congressamn John Tierney last fall, also decided against running for the seat that was vacated when John Kerry was appointed Secretary of State.

“I’m giving it serious consideration, but there are a lot of challenging factors in this situation, not the least of which is the compressed time frame to be able to get 10,000 certified signatures, which regardless of someone’s interest in the race would make anyone have pause before moving forward,” Tarr said.

Citing the lack of time to conduct polling or focus groups, he said, “In many ways this is a very curtailed evaluation that you need to do without a lot of resources from the perspective of analysis.”

The 49-year-old Gloucester lawmaker spoke to the News Service on his way out of the State House to a meeting in Wenham, and said that he could bring the spirit of bipartisanship he has helped sponsor on Beacon Hill to the more contentious body in Washington D.C.

“I think my time up here has been characterized by strong efforts to find common ground,” Tarr said, citing his work on passing last year’s sentencing reform law, which eliminated parole for violent habitual offenders while reducing mandatory minimum sentences for certain drug violations. He said, “There is a model in this building that I think could well be followed in other places around the country, certainly inside the Beltway is one of them.”

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