NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Local News

February 5, 2013

Ablow: Will run with GOP backing

Senate bid rests on being sole candidate

NEWBURY — Newbury psychiatrist Dr. Keith Ablow yesterday said he will only declare his candidacy to fill John Kerry’s U.S. Senate seat if he is the sole Republican candidate on the ballot and he has the full support of the GOP party.

Ablow said he’s not interested in campaigning for the seat if it means first battling another Republican candidate in a primary fight — nor does he think such a fight would be advisable for the party.

The Fox News contributor said his potential candidacy is predicated on the party’s full leadership at the state and national level being united around him to preclude a primary. But he acknowledged such a show of “unity looks improbable at this time.”

“The window is short for a primary battle,” Ablow said in an interview. “I think spending money on a primary, which should be spent on defeating someone in the general election, is ill-advised, that and the time wasted being contentious with another Republican candidate when the whole party has to be unified in an extraordinary way to have even a chance of prevailing, those are the reasons I’m not interested in fighting through a primary.”

The primary is scheduled for April 30, with the special election to be held on June 25.

Ablow announced last month that he would consider running as a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate if both former U.S. Sen. Scott Brown and former Massachusetts Gov. William Weld opted out as candidates. Brown took himself out of the race on Friday, and Weld followed suit yesterday.

The list of potential Republican candidates to replace Kerry, who was confirmed last week as U.S. secretary of state, has been shrinking every day.

Former Gov. Jane Swift has ruled out a run, as has Richard Tisei, the former state Senate minority leader who ran unsuccessfully against U.S. Rep. John Tierney last fall. Former Gov. and presidential hopeful Mitt Romey’s son, Tagg Romney, whose name was being floated, announced last night that he wasn’t interested in pursuing the seat.

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