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Patrick names several potential Brown challengers

Says he has spoken with 4 Democrats

GETTING IN LINE Democratic candidates are jockeying to challenge Republican Scott Brown in the 2012 Senate race. GETTING IN LINE
Democratic candidates are jockeying to challenge Republican Scott Brown in the 2012 Senate race.
By John M. Guilfoil
Globe Staff / March 1, 2011

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Governor Deval Patrick, in Washington for the National Governors Association’s winter meeting, named several Democrats yesterday who he said will probably run against Senator Scott Brown next year.

In an interview with the National Journal, Patrick said he has spoken to four potential candidates: Alan Khazei, founder of City Year who ran in the Democratic primary for the seat in 2009; Robert Massie, a former lieutenant governor candidate; Mayor Setti Warren of Newton; and Mayor Kim Driscoll of Salem.

“Kim is not in; she has not made up her mind, but I know she’s thinking about it seriously. But Alan and Bob and Setti are in, for sure,’’ Patrick told the weekly political magazine.

He added that Robert Pozen, a former finance executive and former aide to Governor Mitt Romney, who has said he will run for Senate as a Democrat if the party asks him, has been trying to get in touch with Patrick.

Patrick said US Representative Michael Capuano, another potential Brown challenger, has not shown his hand.

The governor’s office declined to comment, but Stephen G. Crawford, a spokesman for Patrick’s political committee, said, “The governor’s comments reflect his enthusiasm for the strong field of potential Democratic candidates for the 2012 Senate race.’’

Brown’s office did not return a call seeking comment last night.

After spending weeks dodging questions about a possible run, Warren issued a statement confirming that he was considering it.

“I’m honored that my friend Governor Patrick has mentioned me as a possible candidate for US Senate. I am considering a run against Senator Brown,’’ Warren said. “I have been disappointed by many of his votes, which I believe have hurt many cities and towns in Massachusetts, including my own community of Newton.

“I’m not yet ready to announce an official decision on entering the race. But in the final analysis, if I believe I can do a better job for Massachusetts, I’ll put my name on the ballot.’’

Warren has been in office little more than a year. He has previously said he was focused on his job as mayor.

Driscoll, who was attending an event in Easthampton yesterday, said, “I’m looking at it. I’m trying to understand all the twists and turns. I’m trying to understand the potential impact on my family.’’

Massie, an Episcopal priest with a doctorate from Harvard Business School who has battled serious health problems for years, announced his candidacy in January. He was the first Democrat to declare.

Glen Johnson of the Globe staff contributed to this report. John M. Guilfoil can be reached at jguilfoil@globe.com.