Tarr has also spoken out about waste at the MBTA, in the state’s welfare program and against Gov. Deval Patrick’s $1.9 billion tax proposal to pay for transportation and education, priorities that Tarr said he would not abandon if he chooses to run for higher office.
“I will never lose focus on the task at hand, for a potential higher office, and I don’t intend to compromise on that one bit,” Tarr said.
Tarr said his rumination on a run for Senate was spurred by Brown’s decision not to run, which Brown announced last week. Tarr was assistant minority leader during Brown’s final years in the state Senate.
“Senator Brown said, ‘I’m going to Washington to represent the people of Massachusetts,’ and I think he did that. He took some votes that were controversial and irritated some folks in Massachusetts and certainly some folks, perhaps, in the Republican Party,” Tarr said.
Yesterday, Rep. Dan Winslow (R-Norfolk) announced the launch of an exploratory committee to weigh a run for Senate, while Democratic Congressmen Stephen Lynch, of South Boston, and Ed Markey, of Malden, have already begun campaigning for the seat, which was vacated when U.S. Sen. John Kerry became secretary of state last week.
“I think it’s an interesting field. I don’t think it’s complete at this point. I think there’s room, certainly, for other folks to get into this race,” Tarr said. “We have two people that have a long history in Washington that are in the race, in terms of the Democrats, and I think that clearly there’s something to be said for sending somebody to Washington that won’t perpetuate the gridlock.”
Asked about the effort to reform the filibuster, which is often cited as the cause of gridlock, Tarr said, “The filibuster’s a tool that’s been in place a long time. It’s been used by both parties, and sometimes in Washington the things that don’t happen are as important as the things that do happen, but given the fact that we live in an extraordinary time of paralysis in Washington … I think filibuster reform is something we need to look at seriously.”
Tarr entered the Statehouse as a state representative in 1990, the same year he graduated from Suffolk Law School. He had about $189,000 in cash in his state fundraising account at the end of last year, according to the Office of Campaign and Political Finance, funds he would not allowed to spend on a race for federal office.