OUTSIDE BOSTON, MA -- Tagg will not be ‘it’ this June.
Despite a Massachusetts GOP desperate for a high-profile candidate to battle for the U.S. Senate seat left vacant by John Kerry’s elevation to Secretary of State, it will need to find someone not named Romney to take up the challenge.
Tagg Romney, the eldest son of former governor and 2012 Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney, released a statement Monday afternoon saying that he will not run for U.S. Senate.
"I have been humbled by the outreach I received this weekend encouraging me to become a candidate for the US Senate. I love my home state and admit it would be an honor to represent the citizens of our great Commonwealth,” said the Belmont resident and venture capitalist.
“However, I am currently committed to my business and to spending as much time as I can with my wife and children. The timing is not right for me, but I am hopeful that the people of Massachusetts will select someone of great integrity, vision, and compassion as our next US Senator."
Romney’s decision comes after articles in the Boston Herald Sunday and Monday declared that Tagg – who was an advisor to his father’s presidential campaign – was seriously considering jumping into the race after former U.S. Senator Scott Brown surprised party officials by foregoing another chance to return to the Senate and others such as former Gov. William Weld and former state Sen. Richard Tisei decided not to run in what would be an uphill battle against the winner of the Democratic primary.
The speculation of a Romney run exploded on social media, with many on Twitter providing a negative view on the possible candidacy.
“Senator Tagg? Mitt Romney's eldest son may carry on family legacy of losing elections,” wrote Salon.com
Romney jumping into the race would have injected an interesting dynamic into a campaign that has not seen a high-profile Republican fill the void left by Brown, according to veteran GOP political consultant Patrick Griffin. Griffin, who previously worked as a consultant for Mitt Romney, said Tagg could have been an interesting candidate, especially if he differentiated himself from his father.
"We don’t know anything about Tagg Romney other than he has a famous last name,” said Griffin. "He could make himself very relevant.”
Any Republican candidate, however, could face significant hurdles. Griffin said the short timeframe in which to mount a serious challenge to the Democratic frontrunners – U.S. Reps. Ed Markey and Stephen Lynch – could be driving potential candidates away from the race, especially in a state dominated by Democrats.
But a strong, high-profile candidate with name recognition could drive voters to learn more about any Republican candidate, Griffin said. He doubted Republicans will find a strong candidate for this race.
With Romney’s departure, sources say that former Lt. Gov. Kerry Healey, a Beverly resident, is looking into running for the seat and is expected to make a decision this week.
"I've worked well with her in the past, but I have no comment beyond that. I have no idea whether she's planning to run or not,” said Beverly Mayor Bill Scanlon.