Labor support waning, Lynch says no to Senate run
Third time wonâ€™t be the charm: U.S. Rep. Stephen Lynch finally found a special election he didnâ€™t think he could win.
Citing an "insurmountable" time frame for putting together a statewide organization, Lynch (D-South Boston) on Tuesday took his name out of consideration for a run to succeed the late U.S. Sen. Edward Kennedy.
"After thorough consideration I have decided that I will not be a candidate for the special U.S. Senate race to succeed Edward M. Kennedy," Lynch, a former structural ironworker and labor and employment attorney, said in a statement. "The challenge of putting together the resources and organization necessary to wage a competitive statewide campaign in less than 90 days is insurmountable."
"Running statewide is a daunting task," said state Rep. Marty Walsh, a Savin Hill Democrat and a top Lynch supporter. "Itâ€™s hard to put an organization together. Youâ€™re talking about thousands of calls you have to make. Some of the candidates were up and running earlier than we thought [they would be]."
Attorney General Martha Coakley, who has been maneuvering to run for more than a year, was the first to declare her candidacy. Congressman Michael Capuano (D-Somerville), who shares representation of Dorchester with Lynch, is mulling a run, as is City Year founder Alan Khazei. On the Republican side, state Sen. Scott Brown of Wrentham and Selectman Robert Burr of Canton have declared their candidacies.
Lynch "just didnâ€™t have labor," said one local political operative, unaffiliated with any of the campaigns.
Coakley has drawn a steady stream of support from labor unions, including the Teamsters Union, and local elected officials. Others have pointed to the lukewarm reception Lynch received at a Labor Day health care rally on Boston Common last week as indicative of what he might have faced in a Democratic primary, thanks to his tepid reception to the idea of a government option in health care reform.
Lynch won his present seat in a 2001 special Congressional election, held on Sept. 11, the same day as the terrorist attacks, after the death of Congressman Joseph Moakley. He was a state senator at the time, winning that seat in a special election after then-state Senate President William Bulger stepped down. His streak caused one local elected official, speaking to the Reporter, to call Lynch the "king of special elections."