Yesterday former Massachusetts senator Scott Brown announced that he would not run for John Kerry's vacant Senate seat in the summer special election. The Democrats were wetting their pants over this election, fully expecting that Brown would make a comeback, despite losing to Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) last November. With Brown out of the picture now, the situation has changed radically and the Democrats are very likely to hold the seat.
Brown didn't make it clear why he wasn't running, but he has already run for the Senate twice in the past 2 years. This would make a third run and the regular election for the seat is in 2014, so if he won, he would have to run again in 2014. This would mean four runs in 4 years. Maybe that thought was a bit intimidating.
Two Democratic congressmen have announced that they are running in the Democratic primary. Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA), is a liberal and the establishment choice. He has $3 million in the bank and is the odds-on favorite. Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-MA) is more conservative than Markey and pro choice. However, he has strong working class and union ties and can't be counted out entirely.
Without Brown, the Republicans are up a tree. They have no representatives or statewide officers to put up. Former governor Bill Weld might run as might former Lt. Gov. Kerry Healey, but both have been out of politics for years. Former navy SEAL Gabriel Gomez is another possibility. But for a Republican to win a statewide race in Massachusetts against a determined and well funded Democrat requires a top-tier candidate, and the Republicans don't have one.