POLITICS
02/05/2013 07:50 am ET Updated Apr 07, 2013

Dan Winslow In Massachusetts Senate Race? State Rep Poses Potential Republican Challenge

By Scott Malone

BOSTON, Feb 5 (Reuters) - A Massachusetts state representative said he will announce on Tuesday whether he will become the first Republican to enter the race to fill the U.S. Senate seat opened by John Kerry's appointment as secretary of state.

Dan Winslow, who represents a district including the town of Norfolk, located about 30 miles (48 km) southwest of Boston, will make a statement on his plans for the June 25 special election, he said on his Website.

The 54-year-old former state court justice has held his seat in the statehouse since 2011.

Two well-known Democrats, U.S. Representatives Ed Markey and Stephen Lynch, have already launched their bids, setting the stage for an April 30 party primary. But no major Republicans have declared a run in the predominantly Democratic state.

Instead, several well-known Republicans, including former U.S. Senator Scott Brown, former Governor William Weld and Tagg Romney, the son of former Massachusetts governor and former presidential candidate Mitt Romney, have said they will not run.

That could dim Republicans' hopes of adding to their 45 seats in the U.S. Senate, where Democrats have a majority.

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, a Democrat, on Jan. 30 named his former chief of staff, William Cowan, to hold Kerry's Senate seat until a successor is picked.

Cowan told reporters he viewed the appointment as temporary and had no plans to run in the special election. (Reporting by Scott Malone; Editing by Vicki Allen)

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