Today’s Globe focuses on the political question of the day; will Joe Kennedy run for for the Senate? The answer to that question will shape the field of potential replacements for Ted Kennedy. Who are the potentials?
1) U.S. Rep. Edward Markey: Dean of the Congressional delegation and close to Speaker Pelosi Markey is comfortable in the House, but his name seems to be percolating on the speculation circuit. Markey has substantial campaign cash, and may be in this race if Joe Kennedy is not. If Joe is in the race it appears that Markey would likely take a pass.
2) Attorney General Martha Coakley: The A.G. has the ability to raise quick campaign cash, and may be banking on being the only woman in the race. Word on that speculation circuit is that she is in regardless of who else is in the race. She has to be considered top tier and would be one of the early favorites.
3) U.S. Rep. Steve Lynch: Word is that Lynch is also in this race regardless of the field. Lynch comes into this race from the center-right of the Democratic Party. He should be able to count on real solid support from organized labor, and is known as a tireless and fearless campaigner. A big field is something that should help Lynch. A smaller field, in my view, makes it substantially harder for him to win.
4) U.S. Rep Michael Capuano: A former Mayor of Somerville and also close to Speaker Pelosi, Capuano, according to the Globe, would not run if Joe Kennedy were a candidate. Capuano is a good campaigner and would have to be considered a threat. My initial guess places him at bottom rung of first tier.
5) Chancellor Martin Meehan: Sitting on a huge warchest of $4.8 million dollars Meehan would have to be considered top tier if he gets in. Not likely to enter the field if Joe Kennedy is a candidate Meehan is a prolific fundraiser with a huge rolodex and a great political mind. Without a Kennedy in the race Meehan rises to the top echelon. Another wild card for Marty would be the plans of Niki Tsongas, who holds the congressional seat he gave up to become Chancellor of the University of Massachusetts (Lowell).
6) U.S. Rep. Niki Tsongas: A first term Rep, but one with statewide name recognition. Her husband Paul held the “other” U.S. Senate seat, and the Tsongas network is still deep and strong. Does not start out with a big warchest, but has to be looking at any potential redistricting of the Massachusetts Congressional landscape as having potential trouble for her. Is a political ally of Meehan, and having both in the race would be a problem for both. If Meehan is out and Tsongas is in it is not good news for Attorney General Coakley.
Lets look at the potential Republicans in a follow up post. Did I leave anybody out? Barney Frank, you say. Not running, I say.