Republicans lose best chance of reclaiming seat with Brown out of MA Senate race

Massachusetts Republicans lost their best chance of reclaiming the state’s open Senate seat this morning when former Senator Scott Brown announced that he would forego this spring’s special election.

Brown cited the exhaustion of running two Senate races in three years, and that he would need to run again in 2014 for a full term as reasons why he was bowing out. He has not yet closed the door on running for Governor in 2014, where Republicans typically fare better in elections.

Republican hopes for the seat were rejuvenated yesterday by the news that Rep. Steven Lynch would run in the Democratic primary for the seat against Rep. Ed Markey, who had all but sown up the nomination in previous weeks. Markey had previously been endorsed by the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and several prominent party leaders, including outgoing Senator John Kerry, who will officially resign the seat at 4:00pm today to be sworn into office as the next Secretary of State.

A recent WBUR poll reported that Brown would have beat both Markey and Lynch by double-digits. Washington Republicans had rolled out the “full court press” to convince Brown to try again for the seat.

The GOP’s best hopes now belong to either former Governor William F. Weld or former lieutenant governor Kerry Healey, who served under Mitt Romney. Neither Weld nor Healey have completely ruled out a run, but both politicians have implied that it was something they weren’t seriously considering. Also contemplating a run is 2012 Congressional candidate Richard Tisei, who narrowly lost to Rep. John Tierney in November.

On a side note, Brown’s method of announcement was rather unusual. The former Senator sent a text to the Boston Herald this morning with his decision, typing “U are the first to know.” At least it’s a step up from his “Bqhatevwr” Twitter rant last weekend.