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Any number of candidates could serve as placeholders during a special election. Democrats mentioned Vicki Kennedy, the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy’s widow, and former Rep. Bill Delahunt as potential appointees.
The list of potential candidates in the special election is even longer.
“There are certainly a lot of potential senators running around in Massachusetts,” said David DiMartino, a Democratic consultant who worked on Kerry’s campaigns. “ A crowded primary would put the candidate with the most money, best ground game and highest name ID in the driver’s seat.”
Democrats said state Attorney General Martha Coakley could run again for the Senate, but there’s not a lot of national enthusiasm for her candidacy given her embarrassing loss to Brown in the 2010 special election. There are other previous candidates who Democrats say might want to try again, including Newton Mayor Setti Warren and City Year co-founder Alan Khazei.
Republicans see Brown as their best shot to pick up the seat, and they expect him to run. But Brown’s spokesman, Eric Fehrnstrom, called it “premature to speculate right now” in response to an email seeking comment.
If Brown doesn’t run, the shallow bench of competitive Massachusetts Republicans includes former White House Chief of Staff Andy Card, as well as former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld and ex-Lt. Gov. Kerry Healey.