NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Local News

February 6, 2013

Tarr weighing run to succeed Kerry in Senate

BOSTON — Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr is considering a run for the open U.S. Senate seat, he told the News Service last night, saying his decision “absolutely” would be made by next Monday if not sooner.

The Gloucester Republican, whose district includes Newbury, Rowley, West Newbury, Georgetown and Groveland, said he started thinking about it after the announcement last Friday that his former colleague, Scott Brown, would not seek to reclaim a seat in the upper chamber of Congress.

“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 Republican spoke to the News Service on his way out of the Statehouse 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.”

As the minority leader who first entered the Senate in 1995, Tarr is the primary spokesman for the four Republicans in the 40-member body. A frequent voice in debates, Tarr challenges Senate Democrats to explain their reasoning while also gaining support for his own proposals, as in the most recent debate on joint rules where several Republican-led amendments were adopted.

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