Tagg Romney, the son of former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, announced Monday afternoon that he would not run in the Massachusetts special election, following an earlier Boston Herald report touting his potential candidacy.
"I have been humbled by the outreach I received this weekend encouraging me to become a candidate for the US Senate," he said in a statement. "I love my home state and admit it would be an honor to represent the citizens of our great Commonwealth. However, I am currently committed to my business and to spending as much time as I can with my wife and children. The timing is not right for me, but I am hopeful that the people of Massachusetts will select someone of great integrity, vision, and compassion as our next US Senator."
The Herald report earlier Monday that Romney was considering a run followed a Saturday story from the conservative-leaning tabloid with the headline that the state GOP is mulling "Romney energy." "ROMNEY 911" read the paper's headline.
The reports about Romney's possible run follow former Sen. Scott Brown's (R-Mass.) decision against a run Friday, leaving Republicans without any obvious candidate to replace him.
Former Gov. Bill Weld said no Monday.
Former State Senate Minority leader Richard Tisei said no Saturday.
Former gubernatorial candidate Charlie Baker said no Thursday.
The Herald also reported that Romney's lieutenant governor, Kerry Healey, was unlikely to get in.
That leaves statewide unknowns for office. State Rep. Dan Winslow is making an announcement about a bid Tuesday. Former Navy SEAL and businessman Gabriel Gomez is also frequently mentioned as a candidate.
There are few ways up for a Massachusetts Republican to run for Senate, especially in such a short amount of time. The state's congressional delegation is all Democratic, and just 33 out of 200 state legislators are Republicans.
"I hate to speak ill of fellow Republicans, but there is no good way to spin that the GOP has been left in the lurch by former U.S. Sen. Scott Brown’s backing out of the special election," wrote Massachusetts Republican strategist Holly Robichaud in the Herald Monday. "With less than 23 days to get 10,000 certified signatures for the ballot, the timing of his decision is like leaving a bride at the altar."
This post has been updated to reflect the fact that Tagg Romney will not be running for Senate.