UPDATED - 5:22 p.m. EST
Former Massachusetts Gov. William Weld said Monday he will not run for the Senate seat vacated by John Kerry, making him the latest on the list of Republicans who have turned down a bid for the June 25 special election.
Weld, who served as governor from 1991 to 1997, ran for the U.S. Senate in 1996 as the Republican nominee—and lost to John Kerry. He currently works for Boston’s M.L. Strategies, the government relations and consulting arm of the Mintz Levin law firm.
After former Sen. Scott Brown bowed out of consideration for the Senate seat on Friday—amid widespread speculation that he is mulling a bid for governor next year—and former state Sen. Richard Tisei’s Saturday decision to decline a run, Republicans’ hopes for a high-profile nominee are dwindling.
“Our bench isn’t too deep,” Rob Willington, a former Massachusetts Republican Party executive director who has worked with both the Brown and Romney campaigns, told the Boston Herald.
Enter: Tagg Romney?
The Herald is reporting that the eldest Romney son is “considering a run” in the special Senate election, though it does not cite sources. The Herald does cite, however, an Instagram photo of Tagg Romney’s sons “getting trims at Frank’s barbershop” as an indication that Romney is “bolstering his profile.”
Though Tagg Romney, 42, is no stranger to the political limelight, pursuing the Massachusetts Senate seat would mean putting his job on hold at Solamere Capital, the venture capital firm he founded in 2008. A Solamere spokesperson told msnbc.com that Romney had no comment on the upcoming special election.
Tagg and his wife Jen Romney also have six children, including nine-month-old twins.
And, since Tagg was a mainstay on father Mitt Romney’s 2008 and 2012 failed presidential campaigns, he won’t soon forget that his father lost Massachusetts in last year’s presidential contest by a whopping 23 points.
As of late Monday morning, ABC News reported that two sources close to both Tagg and Mitt Romney say a Tagg bid for Senate is not going to happen.
Other potential Republican candidates getting some attention: Mitt Romney’s former Lt. Gov. Kerry Healey, who also served as a foreign policy adviser in Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign and reportedly considered running in the special election for the late Sen. Ted Kennedy’s seat in 2009; ex-Navy SEAL and fighter pilot Gabriel Gomez; Massachusetts state Rep. Dan Winslow; former state Rep. Karyn Polito; and FOX News contributor Dr. Keith Ablow.
Most believe Scott Brown’s exit from the race all but clears the path to victory for the winner of the Democratic primary between Reps. Ed Markey and Stephen Lynch, both of whom have launched their campaigns, according to NBC News. Democrats’ primary battle would have been complicated by the rumored entry of Middlesex District Attorney Gerard Leone, but the DA announced Monday afternoon that he is leaving politics altogether and will not seek the vacant Senate seat.
Editor’s Note: On Monday evening, Tagg Romney announced that he will not run for the U.S. Senate. “I am currently committed to my business and to spending as much time as I can with my wife and children,” Romney said in a statement. “The timing is not right for me.”