The Globe mentions Senate President Therese Murray as a potential candidate, and I could definitely see her making the jump. She represents a good chunk of the district, has served in the State Senate for nearly 20 years, and her time as Senate President has certainly connected her with the financial backers she would need. Plus, unless a new face emerges, I can’t see a stronger woman candidate in a potential Democratic field.
(It occurred to me after I wrote this that former Lt. Governor candidate Andrea Silbert, currently president of the Eos Foundation, lives in Harwich and could be a candidate.)
There has also been considerable speculation that Joe Kennedy III could be a candidate. He is registered to vote in Hyannis and is working in the Barnstable County District Attorney’s office. Joe III had been discussed as a potential contender for Capuano’s seat if he had won the Senate election, but the Cape Cod seat probably makes just as much sense.
There are a number of other Democratic elected officials in the 10th Congressional, some of whom would probably at least consider a run if Delahunt was to retire and Murray was to pass.
On Beacon Hill the district includes Democratic State Senators Michael Morrissey and Robert O’Leary. Morrissey had been considering a run for Norfolk County District Attorney if the Coakley dominoes had fallen as expected. With that door closed, he may still be looking to move on from the legislature after more than 30 years on Beacon Hill.
Senator O’Leary could make an interesting candidate. A tenured professor of history and politics at Massachusetts Maritime Academy, O’Leary served 14 years as a Barnstable County Commissioner and in 2000 became the first Democrat elected to the State Senate from the Cape and Islands since the Civil War (according to his website). O’Leary represents a huge chunk of the 10th Congressional.
On the House side, the district includes a number of Democratic State Reps., including Sarah Peake, Ron Mariano, Garrett Bradley, Thomas Calter, Demetrius Atsalis, Matthew Patrick, Cleon Turner, Robert Nyman, James Cantwell, James Murphy, Timothy Madden, Stephen Tobin, and Bruce Ayers. I could see a couple of them at least exploring a run, but most are likely to stay put.
Of course Treasurer Tim Cahill also lives in the 10th Congressional, but he is currently occupied.
In county government, Norfolk County Sheriff Michael Bellotti lives in Quincy, and could potentially be a candidate. Norfolk County District Attorney William Keating lives outside of the district, and the DA’s and Sheriffs in both Plymouth and Barnstable counties are Republicans.
There is always potential for a wealthy non-elected official to throw his hat in the ring (a la Steve Pagliuca). Jack Shields, president of Shields Health Care Group, lives in the district and ran for Congress as a Democrat in the early 1990’s (when he was in his early 30’s). Another name that was mentioned on my site was Phil Edmonson, a director of the Progressive Business Leaders Network and a leading figure in the push for Massachusetts Health Care Reform. Between the Cape and some of the other wealthy suburbs in the district (Hingham, Cohasset, Duxbury, etc.), there are probably a number of wealthy individuals who would consider running for an open seat.
So all eyes will be on Delahunt for the next few weeks. But as long as the strong potential for his retirement is out there, you can probably expect to see some behind-the-scenes machinations by Democratic candidates gearing up for a run.