Updated 1:40 p.m. | Former Sen. Scott P. Brown, the Massachusetts Republican unseated by Democrat Elizabeth Warren in 2012, announced Friday he will not run in the Senate special election to fill the seat held by Sen. John Kerry.
"Over these past few weeks I have given serious thought about the possibility of running again, as events have created another vacancy requiring another special election. I have received a lot of encouragement from friends and supporters to become a candidate, and my competitive instincts were leading in the same direction," he said in a statement.
“Even so, I was not at all certain that a third Senate campaign in less than four years, and the prospect of returning to a Congress even more partisan than the one I left, was really the best way for me to continue in public service at this time. And I know it’s not the only way for me to advance the ideals and causes that matter most to me," he said.
“That is why I am announcing today that I will not be a candidate for the United States Senate in the upcoming special election," Brown concluded.
Kerry's resignation from the Senate will take effect Friday afternoon and he will soon be sworn in as secretary of State.
Two Democrats are vying for the Senate nomination in the special election: Reps. Edward J. Markey and Stephen F. Lynch. Markey, who has the backing of the Washington, D.C., Democratic establishment, begins the sprint to the April 30 primary as the front-runner.
The Republican bench in the Bay State is thin. Potential contenders include former Gov. Bill Weld and former Lt. Gov. Kerry Healey.
Republicans in the state are pessimistic about the race.
"It's a tough one," said longtime Bay State Republican strategist Rob Gray. "A special is eminently winnable for Brown, but really doesn't look as winnable for the crop of potential candidates who come after Brown."
"With Brown out, the chances of winning the special, go from 60 or 70 percent to well below 20 percent," he said.
But, Gray added, in the unlikely circumstance that Weld got in the race, Republicans' chances would increase.
The general election will be held June 25.